Preparations for Israel's 4th Offshore Bidding Round

תאריך: 1/3/2021
​​The Ministry of Energy announces preparations for the fourth offshore bidding round (OBR 4) for oil and gas exploration licenses in Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The Ministry of Energy announces preparations for the fourth offshore bidding round (OBR 4) for oil and gas exploration licenses in Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone.

The Ministry of Energy announces plans to launch the fourth offshore bidding round (OBR 4) for exploration licenses in Israel’s exclusive economic zone in the near future. OBR 4 is part of a multi-year program to encourage the exploration and development of Israel’s natural resources to provide low cost, environmentally friendly energy to Israel’s consumers and businesses and to develop markets for Israeli natural gas beyond its borders.  

As in OBR 2, the Ministry is planning to offer several zones to qualified companies, with each zone comprised of approximately four licenses having a total area of up to 1,600 sq. km.  Environmental considerations have been paramount in determining the zones (and licenses) to be offered in OBR 4.  The offered zones are not located close to the shoreline, in keeping with the policy of the strategic environmental survey carried out by the Ministry, whereby exploration and production operations are to be kept at a distance of at least 7 km from the shore. Furthermore, there are no known environmentally-sensitive habitats in the offered zones.
The Ministry will announce the formal commencement of OBR 4 and its delineation in the near future and provide detailed information on the Ministry of Energy Website www.energy-sea.energy.gov.il at that time.

As part of the update, around 25 exploration licenses (blocks) have been mapped, and will be grouped into six clusters, with a maximum area of up to 1,600 sq. km. each. The licenses to be offered for exploration are not located close to the shoreline, in keeping with the policy of the strategic environmental survey carried out by the Ministry, whereby exploration and production operations are to be kept at a distance of 7 km from the shore. Furthermore, there are no known environmentally-sensitive habitats in the blocks offered for exploration in this bid round. The exact dates of the stages of the bid round and grouping of the licenses in clusters will be determined at a later date.

In the first competitive bid round, which ended in 2017, 6 exploration licenses were granted to Energean and a consortium of Indian companies. In the second bid round, which ended in 2019, 12 licenses were granted: 8 licenses to British companies Cairn and Soco and Israeli company Ratio, and 4 licenses to Energean and the company "Israeli Opportunity". No decision has yet been made on the winner of the license for natural gas and oil exploration in Block 72, in the third competitive bid round carried out in 2020.


Map of planned fourth Bid Round: