Indian, Greek companies bid for exploration acreage offshore Israel

One Greek and a consortium of four Indian oil and gas companies submitted bids for exploration acreage offshore Israel.

Israel’s Energy Ministry on Thursday said that bids were submitted by Greece’s Energean, and a consortium of Indian companies that includes ONGC Videsh Limited, Bharat Petro Resources Limited, Indian Oil Corporation Limited, and Oil India Limited.

This was the country’s first ever competitive process in Israel for awarding oil and gas exploration licenses in its exclusive economic zone. It 24 licensing blocks each of a maximum size of 400 km2.

The Minister of Energy, Dr. Yuval Steinitz: “This bid round is the first step in a long-range process that would lead to utilization of the gas and oil fields in the Israeli EEZ to the benefit of Israel’s citizens. Also, in 2018 we will launch another licensing round incorporating conclusions that will be drawn from the current round, and thus continue the effort to develop these strategic assets in the Israel’s exclusive economic zone.”

Over the next few weeks, the energy ministry will examine the bids and determine the winners for the licensing blocks. It will then submit their bids for approval at the Petroleum Council.

A license, if won, is given for a period of three years, at the end of which, it can be extended by three additional years as long as the license holders have implemented the work plan and commit to carry out drilling during the extension period.

“The competitive process for awarding gas and oil exploration licenses is another crucial part of the Ministry’s intensive activity alongside the development of the Leviathan field, as well as Karish and Tanin fields, which changed owners and its development plan was approved, all in accordance with the gas outline,” the Ministry said.