Energean Could Transform Israel Energy Sector

YERUSHALAYIM -
Workers on the Tamar gas processing rig 18 miles off the coast of Ashkelon, where  Noble Energy and Delek are the main partners. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)
Workers on the Tamar gas processing rig 18 miles off the coast of Ashkelon, where Noble Energy and Delek are the main partners. (Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The entry of the Greek oil and gas company Energean could transform the Israeli market from a duopoly into an open competition, according to an industry source quoted by The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday.

Energean’s expected purchase of the Karish and Tanin gas reservoirs will signal a change; it “opens the sector,” the source said. “The signal to the market is given: there’s something going on in Israel. You used to have a [duopoly]. Now you have a potential market.”

Pending government approval, the $148.5 million deal was signed by Athens-based Energean Oil & Gas in mid-August to purchase the gas reservoirs from two Delek Group subsidiaries.

Until now, Delek and Noble have controlled the Israeli oil and gas reservoirs, and development stagnated due to prolonged wrangling over regulations governing the state’s share in revenues.

Another sign of change: a week and a half before the signing, the National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry announced that 24 blocks in Israeli Mediterranean waters will be opened up in an international tender.

“It’s very important that ahead of this tender regarding the 24 blocks, that there’s a newcomer that gets in the Israeli market,” the source said. “It’s not just Delek and Noble as we’re used to.”