Israel hands out gas concessions to BP, ENI as Gaza war drags on – Al Monitor / Times of Israel

Al Monitor

Jack Dutton. October 30, 2023

Israel is determined to project a “business as usual” stance despite the conflict with Hamas claiming the lives of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians.

Israel’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure said on Sunday that it has awarded 12 licenses to six companies, including BP and ENI, for natural gas exploration off the country’s Mediterranean coast, as the war with Gaza-based Hamas entered its fourth week with no ceasefire in sight. 

The offshore tender is the fourth bidding round for natural gas exploration in Israeli waters, whereby the ministry intends to boost competition as well as grow domestic supply and exports. 

Two consortia won the bids: one comprising Italy’s ENI, Scotland’s Dana Petroleum Ltd. and Israeli business Ratio Energies, while the other consists of BP, State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and Israel’s NewMed Energy. The companies will explore two areas next to Israel’s Leviathan field, the country’s largest and one of the world’s biggest deep-water gas discoveries. 

Israel’s war with Hamas saw the shutdown of Israel’s Tamar offshore gas field, the country’s second-largest. It has yet to be reopened after being closed for security reasons on Oct. 8. The site is owned by Chevron, Dor Gas Exploration Limited Partnership, Everest Infrastructures, Isramco Negev 2, UAE-based Mubadala Investment and the Israeli company Tamar Petroleum. Before the shutdown, the field typically met around 70% of Israel’s power generation needs. The country has since been backfilling the supply from other fields to avoid disruptions to flows.

Israel is determined to diversify and develop its energy market and project a “business as usual” stance despite the war with Hamas showing no signs of abating soon, and claiming the lives of thousands of Israelis and Palestinians. Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz said that the new investment commitment during the war was a sign of confidence in his country’s resilience. 

The new licenses will “strengthen Israel’s energy security, international ties, lower the cost of living and provide energy support to accelerate the transition of the economy to renewable energies,” Katz added.

Meanwhile, Israel’s economy has been put under strain after 300,000 military reservists were called up to potentially fight in the conflict against Hamas, which many fear could spiral into a wider Middle Eastern war including other actors such as Iran and Lebanon’s Hezbollah.

Amid ongoing war, BP and Eni among firms awarded gas exploration licenses in Israel – Times of Israel

Energy Ministry says a total of 12 licenses have been given to six companies, four of which are new players in the exploration of natural gas off the country’s Mediterranean coast

By SHARON WROBEL 29 October 2023

Israel announced on Sunday that 12 licenses have been awarded to six companies, including British multinational oil and gas firm BP plc and Italian energy giant Eni, to explore and discover additional offshore natural gas fields….

The announcement comes after Israel decided to temporarily shut down the Tamar offshore natural gas field on October 9, two days after the Hamas massacre….

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