© Reuters Israel Plans New Gas Exploration Tender in Policy U-Turn
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Israel will hold a new competition for natural gas exploration licenses in its economic waters, Energy Ministry officials said Monday, citing European demand for the fuel as the region seeks to reduce its reliance on Russia.
The decision to hold a new tender is a reversal of the ministry’s declared intent to hold off on granting new licenses this year in favor of concentrating efforts on renewable energy. The geopolitical events in the world, and the ensuing global energy crisis, have completely changed the state of the market, officials said, explaining the policy change.
“The State of Israel is mobilizing to assist Europe in diversifying its energy sources,” Energy Minister Karine Elharrar said at a press conference. “The global energy crisis is an opportunity for the State of Israel to export natural gas, along with the sincere and genuine concern for what is happening in Europe.”
The new competitive process, which is expected to begin in the third quarter, comes as the European Union is working on a deal to import Israeli gas through Egypt. The fuel would be turned into liquefied natural gas at Egypt’s processing plants before being shipped to the EU. Israel’s gas currently serves the local market as well as neighboring Egypt and Jordan.
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