Israel will tender off 19 new offshore blocks to oil and gas companies, its energy ministry said on Sunday, hoping to rebound from a disappointing bidding round a year ago.
Israel discovered in 2009 that it had large reserves of natural gas off its Mediterranean coast. It will publish details of the tender by the end of the month and, about half a year later, choose the winning companies, said Udi Adiri, the ministry’s director general.
Last year’s auction elicited bids from only two groups of companies, and the ministry said it expects more to compete this time as conditions have improved.
In 2017 the energy market was weaker and companies in general were investing less. There was also concern over where to sell any new-found gas, since Israel is a small market.
The 19 blocks have been divided up into four sectors that benefit from more comprehensive geological studies than last time, he said. Israel has also signed major export deals with Jordan and Egypt over the past two years, opening new markets for companies looking to sell gas from Israel.