Israel’s Energy Ministry announced this week that its latest bid round received offers from just two consortia. The first is made up of UK newcomers Cairn and Soco along with Israeli firm Ratio, while the second is from Greek firm Energean, which is already active in Israel, partnered with local firm Israel Opportunity.

It is yet another disappointing turn-out for Israel, just 12 months after a previous bid round flopped (MEES, 24 November 2017). Hopes were raised that US major ExxonMobil, which has made recent forays into Egypt and Cyprus, would take part after it purchased a $50,000 data package (MEES, 15 March). Israel’s improved relations with some Arab states had led it to believe that IOCs would be less worried about entering the country. (CONTINUED - 411 WORDS)