New li­censes

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Steinitz said he ex­pected Is­rael to be­gin a new round of ten­ders for off­shore blocks later in the year.

The new off­shore ex­plo­ration li­censes will be mod­i­fied to make them more at­trac­tive to en­ergy groups, af­ter a pre­vi­ous auc­tion re­ceived a luke­warm re­sponse.

Is­rael launched a bid­ding round in Novem­ber 2016 af­ter some the fields were found in Is­raeli wa­ters.

It ac­cepted the only two bids it re­ceived - from Greece’s En­ergean and a con­sor­tium of In­dian firms. Steinitz said there were lessons to be learned. “We will change the method in a way that it will be more ac­ces­si­ble and at­trac­tive.”

He said com­pa­nies were put off by con­cerns that they might not find a buyer for gas they dis­cov­ered since Is­rael has a gas sur­plus and ex­port op­tions at the time were lim­ited.

But progress has been made in plans for an Is­raeliEuro­pean sub­sea gas pipe­line – which in­volves Cyprus - and a $15 bil­lion ex­port deal to Egypt was signed.

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