Despite ongoing intense fighting in the Gaza Strip, Israel on 29 October awarded two multi-block ‘zones’ as a result of an offshore bid round which closed on 16 July. The entry of four new international firms – including majors BP and Eni, as well as Socar, the state firm of Muslim-majority Azerbaijan – is a huge win for Israel at a time of such uncertainty.

Israel has for years tried to attract major players to its upstream: the key previous breakthroughs were Chevron’s entry as operator of the country’s two key fields Leviathan and Tamar with the 2020 purchase of independent Noble Energy, followed by the 2021 entry of UAE state firm Mubadala following the previous year’s Abraham Accords (MEES, 10 December 2021). (CONTINUED - 1206 WORDS)