On July 30 2019 The
Petroleum Council approved 12 new natural gas and oil exploration licenses in
Israel’s economic waters
Minister of Energy, Dr. Yuval Steinitz; "This is another milestone for the discovery and development of additional natural resources in the economic waters of the State of Israel. I have no doubt, that over the coming few years we will see further gas and oil discoveries, and the participation of additional European companies in exploration activities will enable to extract the resources and enhance competition to break-up the monopoly. The main beneficiaries from tax revenues and decreased air pollution in Israel are the citizens of the state of Israel".
On July 30 2019, the Petroleum Council approved 12 new oil and natural gas exploration licenses in Israel's economic waters. The proposals were received at the conclusion of the second bidding round for the opening of the sea.
After an examination of the threshold conditions and the work programs, the members of the council recommended to the Petroleum Commissioner to grant the following exploration licenses:
SOCO, Cairn and Ratio will receive exploration licenses in blocks 39, 40, 47, 48 (Zone A) and 45, 46, 52, 53 (Zone C).
Energean and Israel Opportunity will receive exploration licenses in block 55, 56, 61, 62 (Zone D).
In order to complete the process of receiving the licenses, and to give the final approval to the proposals, the companies must complete certain issues such as paying the signature bonus and the licensing fee, as well as to provide the Ministry of Energy with the guarantee for the licenses.
The current bidding process that started in November 2018, took place following the first bidding round that ended in November 2017, when 6 exploration licenses were granted to Energean and to a consortium of Indian companies.
Another bid round is expected to take place in 2021.