A consortium of Indian firms led by state giant ONGC Videsh is in the process of relinquishing the one exploration block it holds offshore Israel. Block 32 was awarded in late 2017, following Israel’s first offshore bid round, launched in 2016 (MEES, 24 November 2017). In its 2019-20 annual report, released earlier this month, ONGC Videsh says it fulfilled its commitments but “detailed analyses brought out that no economically viable prospect could be identified within the block area” and that the firm is in the process of relinquishing the block.

What those commitments were remains unclear with MEES sources unaware of any seismic surveys being carried out on the block. Block 32 lies at the south east edge of a cluster of five blocks awarded during the same bid round to Greek firm Energean (see map MEES, 11 September & MEES, 15 December 2017). (CONTINUED - 183 WORDS)