Regulatory constraints on Israeli upstream development have added to geopolitical hurdles in stymying gas exports. Tweaks proposed in an official report following last year’s flopped bidding are unlikely to prove a game-changer.
No exploration drilling has taken place offshore Israel since 2013. And after last year’s flopped bid round where cash-strapped Greek firm Energean was the main ‘winner’ (MEES, 15 December 2017) – there is little sign of an uptick.
Israel saw the discovery of 33tcf of gas between 2009 and 2012 with a total of 19 exploration wells drilled. But, with these finds still struggling to move to development, there has been scant interest in further exploration.
Contrast this with neighbors Cyprus and Lebanon where Total, Eni and ExxonMobil are lining up to drill despite minimal discoveries to date. Not to mention Egypt, which has sanctioned 30tcf of Mediterranean gas developments since 2015.
Israel’s current rules governing upstream development were...