Israel Launches New Offshore Licensing Bid Round

A total of 20 new exploration blocks are on offer within the Israeli Economic Zone.

OBR4 Zones for Bidding map

The Israeli Energy Ministry is offering 20 new exploration blocks as part of its fourth Offshore Bid Round (OBR4). Total acreage offered spans 5888 km2 across four zones (E, G, H, I) within the Israeli Economic Zone.

The purpose of the round is to offer new exploration opportunities which will increase the security of natural gas supply to the Israeli market as well as competition between natural gas suppliers. The country hopes OBR4 will create additional resources of natural gas for electricity producers, which ultimately will lower the price for the consumer and promote the transition of additional factories, which still use heavy fuel oil and diesel, to natural gas.

As part of the OBR4, four zones will be offered, with the winning bid for each zone granted multiple licenses. The decision to market the areas in groups of licenses is intended to enable the exploration areas to fit more closely with geological structures that may contain natural resources, according to the Ministry.

Bidders will be able to submit their proposals until July 2023 and the results of the procedure are expected to be published a few weeks after the closure of the bid.

This offshore round is a direct continuation of a series of bid rounds for natural gas exploration that began 6 years ago, which resulted with drilling of four new exploratory wells.