Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources has posted on a dedicated website new information concerning the first round of bidding for offshore oil and gas exploration activity. Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) in the Mediterranean Sea is divided into 69 exploration areas or blocks. The Ministry plans to conduct successive rounds for new exploration areas in the EEZ. In the first round, the Ministry will offer for competitive bidding 24 blocks that are located in the central part of the offshore area. The Ministry states that the 24 blocks were chosen based on seismic and geologic data indicating a high potential for promising geological structures; some of the blocks are adjacent to the substantial deep water gas discoveries in Israel’s EEZ, including the Tamar and Leviathan fields. The Ministry’s website offers a map showing Israel’s offshore EEZ, including the blocks to be offered for bidding and blocks covered by existing leases and licenses.

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The bid documents for the upcoming round contain all the required information for bidding, including a description of the offering, the required qualifications and assessment criteria, license model, instructions for submission and the relevant forms and tables for submitting an application. Potential bidders can obtain the tender documents by contacting Dina Levant, Coordinator, Foreign Relations and Information, Natural Resources Administration, via email at dinal@energy.gov.il or phone (972-2-5316042). Interested parties wishing to remain initially anonymous may also acquire the tender documents through legal counsel.

The Ministry also published the following bid timeframe:

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The Ministry also states that it has prepared a data package for potential bidders containing comprehensive information on the Levant Basin’s geology including highlights of the Petroleum System and Basin Analysis study performed by Beicip FranLab in 2015. Importantly, the Ministry states on its website that purchasing the tender documents, including the data package, is a pre-condition for participation in the bidding round. Details on the cost of the package can be obtained from Dina Levant at the same contact information noted above. The data package includes, among other things: (1) information from 19 wells that were drilled offshore Israel between 1970 and 2013 (list of wells and location map); (2) 2D seismic data acquired between 1970 and 2013 covering the entire bid area (raw field tapes can be purchased for additional cost); and (3) bathymetric, gravity and magnetic data covering most of the bid area.