JERUSALEM, Nov. 4 (Xinhua) — Israel’s Energy Ministry announced on Sunday that it will launch a tender for gas and oil exploration in the Mediterranean Sea, with the aim of exporting most of the energy found, in view of the low demand in domestic market.
This is the ministry’s second attempt to find such investors, about a year after the failure of the first round.
In 2016, the ministry announced the opening of the sea, off the coast of Israel, to gas and oil exploration, after four years in which the sea was closed to competition.
The closing took place after companies not involved in the Israeli energy market took advantage of the licensing policy to search areas with an unclear purpose.
On the other hand, the closing fixed the status of the “Tamar” and “Leviathan” gas drill fields in the Mediterranean Sea as a duopoly in the gas supply market.
The ministry, which reopened the sea for searches, hoped that with the regulation of investors and approval of a government gas pipeline, investors would rush to Israel, just as they rush to tenders in Cyprus, Egypt and Lebanon. In practice, no such investors came.
The announcement of the results of the first tender was rejected three times due to a small number of participants. Finally, the Greek company Energean Oil & Gas and a consortium of four Indian government companies agreed to obtain search licenses.
The Greek company plans to start the search soon, while the Indian companies have not yet done anything about it since the license was granted.
Despite the failure of the first tender, Israeli Minister of Energy, Yuval Steinitz, decided to launch another one so as not to lag behind tenders in neighboring countries and the dream of turning Israel into a regional supplier.
In addition, according to existing studies in the economic waters of Israel, there is another 2 trillion cubic meters of gas, and also a probability of finding oil.