Israel Looks To 2015 Drilling Uptick But Geopolitical Headaches Remain

Regulatory hurdles and tense regional geopolitics have seen exploration offshore Israel grind to a halt, despite 36 tcf of gas discoveries.

Several key licenses are due to expire by early 2016 with companies facing the prospect of a ‘use it or lose it’ deadline, and a number of them have scheduled drilling next year.

No exploration wells have been spudded offshore Israel since 2013, the first such barren period since the country’s key offshore gas discoveries – 10 tcf Tamar and 22 tcf Leviathan – were made in 2009 and 2010. Exploration peaked in late-2011 when five rigs were drilling simultaneously (see graph).

Since the start-up of Tamar, where capacity was raised to 1.1bn cfd production in March last year, activity has slowed. All current Israeli output is supplied to the domestic market at a fixed price of $5.5/mn BTU. (CONTINUED - 2143 WORDS)


table Israel Exploration Blocks*