Azerbaijan’s state oil company SOCAR, in collaboration with a consortium that includes BP (BP.L) and NewMed, has been awarded a gas exploration license in Israel, according to the Israeli Ministry of Energy.
The Ministry disclosed that a total of 12 licenses were issued to six companies for the exploration of natural gas reserves along the Mediterranean coast of Israel, a move aimed at fostering increased competition and diversifying gas suppliers.
Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz stated that the winning companies have pledged significant investments in natural gas exploration over the next three years, with the hope of uncovering new natural gas reservoirs.
The granted license is initially valid for three years, with the potential for a seven-year extension based on the progress achieved.
Over the years, SOCAR has engaged in bilateral discussions with Israeli counterparts, and reciprocal delegations from Israel have visited Azerbaijan to explore collaboration in this sector. While SOCAR previously participated in energy exploration efforts in Israel, those initiatives were not met with success.