Israel has indefinitely postponed an offshore bid round that had been slated for 2021. The country had been looking to capitalize on increased international interest following Chevron’s entry last year with its $5bn takeover of compatriot Noble Energy and Mubadala’s imminent entry into Israel’s upstream (MEES, 26 November). It went as far as releasing a map of blocks to be put on offer (MEES, 7 May).

But a change of government in June has brought with it a change of strategy with the current government switching focus to renewables projects. Speaking on 22 November, Energy Minister Karine Elharrar says she is now pondering whether such a bid round is even needed. This despite what appear to be strong objections from her own Petroleum Commissioner Guy Sumet who has expressed his support for further exploration. The planned bid round was also heavily promoted by former Energy Ministry Director General Udi Adiri who was recently replaced by Lior Schillat. (CONTINUED - 253 WORDS)