Israeli Round Draws Two Groups
Two business groups have submitted proposals for gas exploration offshore Israel in the second licensing round, but the international oil companies, which Israel had hoped to attract, were not among them.
One group is composed of two British energy companies which so far have not been involved in Israel's energy sector: Cairn Energy and Soco International, and Israel's Ratio, a partner in the Leviathan partnership.
The second group is composed of Greece's Energean Oil & Gas, which already operates in Israel, and Israel Opportunity, an Israeli company with no upstream success to date.
The two groups submitted proposals for 12 blocks out of the 19,400 km² offered in the licensing round. As each block is 400 km², this represents 63.2%. The energy ministry will examine the proposals in the next few weeks before deciding the winners.
The bidders will have come as a disappointment to the Israeli energy sector, since none of the energy majors, such as those taking part in exploration offshore Egypt, Cyprus and eyeing Lebanon, submitted any proposal. The ministry had hoped to see ExxonMobil and Brazil's state Petrobras, who purchased tender documents, submitting proposals.