Italian supermajor Eni S.p.a, in partnership with Ratio Energies and Dana Petroleum, was recently awarded six licenses to explore for gas offshore Israel.
According to Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the trio won six licenses for blocks in Zone G, one of the four zones that were on offer.
In Zone G, Eni would serve as the operator. The 70-year-old supermajor also has other key assets in countries around the world, including Algeria, Angola, Mozambique, Mexico, Indonesia and Italy.
As for Ratio Energies, the Israeli company operates Guyana’s prospective Kaieteur Block. Ratio is also credited for helping to discover the Leviathan – one of the largest deepwater natural gas discoveries in the world.
With respect to Dana, it is an oil and gas exploration and production company based in Aberdeen, Scotland. Its activities are focused on the North Sea, Africa, and the Middle East. It is also a subsidiary of the Korea National Oil Corporation.
Also receiving six licenses in Zone 1 was the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR) in partnership with BP and one of Israel’s leading energy giants, NewMed Energy.
Israeli authorities said the bid round has resulted in over US$15 million in signing bonuses and the introduction of two new operators to its market.
Following the announcement, minister of energy and infrastructure, MK Israel Katz said the winning companies have committed to pumping “unprecedented investment” into natural gas exploration over the next three years, which would hopefully result in the discovery of new natural gas reservoirs.
“That, in turn, will solidify Israel’s energy security, enhance the country’s international relations, contribute to reduction in the cost of living, and form a secure backup energy source in order to accelerate the transition to renewable energies,” the official said.
Director of the natural resources administration and petroleum commissioner, Chen Bar-Yoseph said the results of the nation’s fourth offshore bid round reflect the fruit of the professional and wide-ranging efforts by its team over the past year, constituting a ground-breaking achievement.
“We are confident that the winning companies will conduct the exploration phase in a professional manner, in order to maximize the energy and economic potential of the reservoirs for the benefit of the citizens of Israel,” the Director said.
These 12 license awards follow the December 2022 launch of Israel’s fourth offshore bid round. It was the latest in a series of bid rounds for natural gas exploration, which began about eight years ago, with the previous bid rounds resulting in 18 licenses being awarded and four exploration drills conducted.