Amid the ongoing war, Israel has awarded 12 licences to six companies to explore natural gas off the Mediterranean coast.
According to Reuters, British multinational oil and gas firm BP and Italian energy company Eni are among the awardees which are divided into two groups.
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The Times of Israel reports: Energy Minister Israel Katz said that the investment commitment by large natural gas exploration companies during this period as Israel is at war with the Hamas terror group is a sign of confidence in Israel’s resilience.
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, which saw some 2,500 terrorists burst across the border into Israel from the Gaza Strip by land, air and sea, killing some 1,400 people and seizing some 230 hostages of all ages under the cover of a deluge of thousands of rockets fired at Israeli towns and cities.
“The winning companies have committed to unprecedented investments in natural gas exploration over the coming three years, in the hope of discovering new natural gas reserves,” said Katz.
The discoveries would “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.
The offshore tender marks the fourth bidding process for natural gas exploration in Israel’s economic waters, which the ministry said is directed to boost competition, ensure supply to the domestic market, expand state revenues, and encourage the signing of additional gas export agreements.
The winning companies in the fourth offshore bid round are divided into two consortia, which will explore in two areas adjacent to Israel’s Leviathan field, one of the world’s largest deep-water gas discoveries. One group consists of Eni, Dana Petroleum and Ratio Energies and the other group comprises BP, State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic (SOCAR) and NewMed Energy.
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