Israel's Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources today granted a license to an Indian consortium to search for gas and oil in Block 32 in Israel's economic waters. The Indian consortium comprises ONGC Videsh, Bharat PetroResources, Indian Oil Corp and Oil India. The consortium, which bid last year in a competitive tender, was granted the license for three years with an option to extend for a further three years.
Last year's competitive tender received bids from only two countries - the Indian consortium and Greek energy company Energean, which is already developing the Karis and Tanin natural gas reserves. Last year's tenders came after over four years in which all new licenses were frozen.
The Indian consortium was notified that it had won the tender in December and was given 30 days to complete the procedures required for receiving the license including payment of fees and registering in Israel as a foreign company. Foot-dragging by the consortium raised concerns that the Indian group was not serious about entering Israel's energy market, however, all the required procedures have now been completed.
Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz welcomed the Indian consortium. He said, "During this year we expect to hold another competitive procedure for oil and gas exploration that will encourage international companies to come and invest in the country."
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 9, 2018
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