Petroleum Rights

The Ministry of Energy is the regulator in charge of oil and gas prospecting in Israel, via the Petroleum Unit and the Petroleum Council. In accordance with the Law, there are three types of petroleum rights granted to concessionaires: preliminary permit, license and possession.
Permit: A right granted to a concessionaire, either in land or marine territory, for a period of 18 months, permitting preliminary evaluation of the region’s characteristics and potential. (Permits are not granted anymore)
License: Granted for a period of 3 years, with potential extension of up to seven years per Petroleum Commissioner resolution. License-owners must begin petroleum prospecting within 4 months of license issuance, and must  commence drilling operations no later than two years following license issuance, and must not linger between the drilling of one well and another for more than 4 months. Offshore licenses are distributed as per licensing rounds since 2016.
In order to augment the number of petroleum prospectors, the following rules were set: a single license will not be issued for properties larger than 400,000sqm within economic land or waters (the marine territories are divided between nations for financial gain. Israel’s economic waters contain 25 million square meters), a single concessionaire will not be in possession of more than 12 licenses, and shall not be licensed for areas exceeding 4 million square meters.
Lease: A concession given for a period of 30 years, with an optional 20 years extension. Possession is granted by the Petroleum Commissioner, after they had been submitted with proof that granting possession rights entails financial benefits (“commercial discovery”). A lease shall not exceed 250,000sqm in surface area, and concessionaires shall not be in possession of areas exceeding 3 million square meters, unless otherwise authorized to that effect by the Petroleum Council

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