BP and SOCAR are ready to invest in a gas project on the Israeli shelf
BP and the Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR participated for the first time in the Israeli round of licensing of natural gas exploration, which is the latest sign of growing international interest in the Eastern Mediterranean basin, according to Azerbaijan in Focus, reporting Turan, citing Reuters. BP and SOCAR together with Israel’s NewMed Energy (NWMDp.TA) have applied for two offshore blocks as part of the fourth licensing round, which ended on Sunday.
This happened four months after BP and Abu Dhabi’s state-owned oil giant Adnoc offered to jointly acquire 50% of NewMed for about $2 billion, potentially giving them access to Israel’s growing energy sector.
The gas-rich offshore basin located between Egypt, Israel, Cyprus and Lebanon has attracted the attention of some of the world’s leading energy companies in recent years, especially at a time when Europe is struggling to secure supplies to replace Russian gas after Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
NewMed is the largest shareholder in the giant Leviathan offshore field, which is managed by Chevron (CVX.N), which produces 12 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas, which is supplied to Israel, Egypt and Jordan.
Sources report that the joint application submitted by NewMed, BP and Socar concerned blocks in the immediate vicinity of the Leviathan and Tamar fields.
BP declined to comment, and Socar did not respond to a request for comment. In the regulatory documentation, NewMed confirmed that it had submitted an application as part of a consortium with “international companies”. The winners of the competition should be announced in the fourth quarter, Reuters notes.
The attempts to get comments from BP and SOCAR were futile.