August 13, 2020

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August 12, 2020

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August 11, 2020

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August 10, 2020

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Israel Reopens Offshore Areas to New Gas Exploration; Encourages Foreign Bidders To Participate

In a highly anticipated announcement, on August 10th, the Petroleum Council of the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy, and Water Resources approved the reopening of Israel’s economic waters to new oil and gas exploration. Based on the recommendation of the Council to the Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz, 24 offshore exploration blocks will be offered in an international bidding process by which energy companies will tender for rights to participate in exploration for oil and natural gas in Israel’s economic waters. Due to the proximity of these blocks to a large number of known major gas deposits (including the Leviathan and Tamar fields), it is expected that the bidding process will draw bidders from around the world. The Council’s recommendation was based on independent research recently commissioned by the Ministry that estimated potential undiscovered offshore resources totaling approximately 6.6 billion barrels of oil and 2,137 billion cubic meters of natural gas.

Expressed through numerous decisions and announcements, including the Government’s approval of a revised Natural Gas Regulatory Framework designed to promote investment in the sector, Israel’s government has taken a strategic decision to open up Israel’s gas exploration market to international participants. The public policy of Israel is strongly in favor of encouraging world class non-Israeli operators to enter this exciting marketplace.

©2020 Greenberg Traurig, LLP. All rights reserved. National Law Review, Volume VI, Number 224


About this Author

Aaron Katz, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Tel Aviv, Private Wealth and Corporate Law Attorney

Aaron R. Katz represents companies and private equity firms in connection with various corporate transactions as well as general corporate counseling and governance. He focuses his practice on representing strategic and financial buyers and sellers in transactions, including mergers, stock and asset acquisitions, divestitures and financings involving companies across a variety of industries based throughout the world. Aaron’s global experience is emphasized by having worked with clients from around the world, including Israel, the U.S., China and Europe. Moreover, he has...

Kenneth Minesinger, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, Washington DC, Energy and Litigation Attorney

Ken Minesinger is Co-Chair of GT’s Energy & Natural Resources Practice group. Ken represents clients in the development of their oil and gas resources, and on energy regulatory issues. Ken has represented clients in commercial and fiscal negotiations; joint venture negotiations; complex ratemaking and restructuring proceedings; certificate/licensing proceedings and related project development matters; complaint proceedings; and investigations into allegations of market manipulation, the exercise of market power, and alleged violations of agency rules and policy.


  • Energy projects

  • Energy regulation

  • Antitrust

  • Energy litigation

Allan Reiss, Greenberg Traurig Law Firm, New York, Corporate, Bankruptcy and Energy Law Attorney

Allan D. Reiss counsels financial advisors, underwriters, issuers, investors, and funds on corporate and securities transactions across a variety of industries, including energy, shipping and renewables. He is experienced in public and private offerings of debt and equity securities, and has special expertise in high yield debt and master limited partnerships, or MLPs. Allan also advises clients on out-of-court debt restructurings of distressed issuers and on mergers, acquisitions and divestitures.

Areas of Concentration

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