Indian, Greek E&P groups bid for licences offshore Israel
Israel’s government has closed the country’s first offshore licensing round. The Ministry of Energy received bids from Athens-based Energean, which is currently developing the offshore Karish and Tanin gas fields and from a consortium of Indian companies comprising ONGC Videsh, Bharat PetroResources, Indian Oil Corporation, and Oil India.
Dr Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Energy, said: “This bid round is the first step in a long-term process which would lead to full exploitation of gas and oil resources in the Israeli EEZ for the benefit of the Israeli citizens.
“We are planning to launch a second licensing round in 2018, where lessons learned from the first bid round will be incorporated, and thus continue the effort to develop these strategic assets in the Israel’s exclusive economic zone.”
For over Israel’s waters had been closed for over four years to new applications. On offer under the first bid round were 24 licensing blocks, each up to 400 square kilometres (154 square miles) in area.
Over the coming weeks the Ministry will review the bid proposals, financial requirements and proposed work programmes will be reviewed before selecting the winning bids. These will then be sent for approval to Israel’s Petroleum Council.
Under the terms of the round, bidders had to demonstrate financial capability of US$400 million in total assets and US$100 million in equity.
Licences will be issued for an initial three years, at the end of which the licensees can apply for a further three-year extension, pending a commitment to drill.