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Israel moving forward with natural-gas exploration

Four groups are biding to search for energy in the eastern Mediterranean.

Israel's Leviathan gas processing rig as seen from the Dor Habonim Beach Nature Reserve, Jan. 1, 2020. Credit: Flash90.
Israel's Leviathan gas processing rig as seen from the Dor Habonim Beach Nature Reserve, Jan. 1, 2020. Credit: Flash90.

Four groups have submitted bids for a new offshore natural gas exploration tender, Israel announced on Sunday.

“The scope of the proposals and the variety of bidders will lead to new companies conducting natural gas exploration in Israel’s economic waters,” the Energy and Infrastructure Ministry said in a statement after the competitive bidding process closed.

The four groups consist of nine different companies, five of which are new to the Israeli market. They submitted six proposals for licenses in the areas on offer. It is the fourth round of bidding Israel has held in the search for natural gas in its exclusive economic zone (EEZ) in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

During the coming weeks, professionals in the Energy Ministry’s Natural Resources Administration will examine the proposals’ compliance with the tender terms and the accompanying work plans.

After that, the results will be forwarded for the ministry’s Petroleum Council’s recommendation and a final decision by the petroleum commissioner.

As additional natural gas is found, the reliability of energy supply to the Israeli economy will increase, competition will expand and the state’s revenues will increase, the ministry said.

“We are a land of milk, honey and natural gas, and the tremendous success of the fourth round demonstrates that the State of Israel stands at the forefront of the global energy economy,” Energy Minister Israel Katz said.

“Energy is power, and the revenues generated for the local economy will be reinvested for the benefit of all the citizens of Israel,” Katz said.

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