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Israel expands oil and gas exploration in hunt for eastern Mediterranean resources Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Israel expands oil and gas exploration in hunt for eastern Mediterranean resources

Israel is making a new push for gas exploration [Getty]

Date of publication: 4 November, 2018

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Israel is opening up waters in the Mediterranean for oil exploration which has caused controversy with neighbours.
Israel has announced it will open up eastern Mediterranean waters for oil and gas exploration, as neighbours also seek to exploit the resource-rich area.

Tenders for oil and gas companies will be open for 19 new blocks in the eastern Mediterranean, Israel said on Sunday.

"There is strong interest in this tender, certainly compared to the previous round," Uri Adiri from Israel's energy ministry told Reuters.

He explained that gas and oil companies felt more confident about investment in Mediterranean waters than last year.

The exploration licenses will be for three years, with the possibility that they could be extended for another four years.

Israel large gas reserves off its coast in 2009, and has sought to exploit the supplies in a new push for economic prosperity.

Some of these reserves are already on-line with gas likely to be produced from the huge Leviathan project in the coming years.

Neighbours Jordan and Egypt have already expressed interest in buying Israeli gas, but Lebanon has clashed with Israel as waters in one block are claimed by both countries.

Turkey also said on Sunday that it should have a right to the rich resources in the Mediterranean.

Cyprus - which is divided between Greek and Turkish speaking areas - also has rich oil reserves off its coast.

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