Exploration for hydrocarbons is taking place in the offshore area of Israel since the early 1970's and large amount of information including 2D and 3D seismic reflection surveys, gravity and magnetic surveys, bathymetric and well data were collected. These data sets are stored and managed by the Petroleum Unit in the Ministry of Energy and its affiliated research centers, the GSI and the GII.
Israel's first offshore exploration well was drilled in 1970. Till the late 1990's some 20 wells were drilled for oil and gas reservoirs, all of them were located in shallow water near the coastline. Following the first discovery of gas (Noa-1) exploration efforts extended to the entire area of the EEZ reaching greater water depth of up to 1700m below MSL. As of 2016 a total of 60 exploration and production wells were drilled in the Levant Basin offshore Israel
(See map below and the Index of Oil and Gas Wells in Israel, updated as per 06.07.2020).
Several thousands of 2D, multi-channel seismic reflection lines were acquired in the offshore area of Israel in the early stages of exploration, either in the framework of activity in exploration licenses or through regional, multi-client surveys. Following the discoveries of the Noa and Mari-B gas fields more focused, high-quality 3D seismic data were acquired over many license areas. The complete Israeli offshore seismic data sets include: 42,000 km of 2D seismic lines (shot between 1970 and 2008); and 26 3D seismic surveys covering 32,000 km2 (shot between 2000 and 2013).
The activity in the offshore area include also acquisition of high resolution bathymetric data. This important data type is used for planning of drilling sites, construction of infrastructures, environmental assessments etc. A new bathymetric grid that covers the Israeli Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) was compiled by reprocessing of multi-beam data that was collected during the years 2001 and 2010 at water depth of 10 to 1500 meters and the acquisition and processing of new multi-beam data set in water depth of 100 to 2110 meters. The new data was acquired during 2017-2021 onboard the new National Research Vessel "Bat Galim". The compilation of the data sets resulted in a resolution grid with 100X100 meter cell size that is open to the general public (Hall et al., 2017; Kanari et al., 2020).