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Indian energy firms are exploring investment opportunity in Israel’s offshore gas fields as well as possibilities of importing some of their advanced technologies as part of a larger effort between the two countries to strengthen energy ties following the recent visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to the Middle East nation.
A delegation of executives of ONGC Videsh, Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum and Hindustan Petroleum, led by an oil ministry official, visited Israel last week, to explore investment and technological opportunities.
Israel is currently seeking bidders for its first offshore exploration bid round that offers 24 blocks with an estimated in-place reserve of 6.6 billion barrels of oil and 2137 billion cubic meters of natural gas.
The auction, launched last November, has been extended twice to attract more bidders. Israel made most of its significant gas discoveries in the past decade and is now hoping to attract foreign capital and competence to explore and develop its reserves.
“Indian firms will shortly evaluate if it made sense to invest in Israeli gas fields,” said an oil ministry official. Indian Oil, BPCL, HPCL are also examining how to adopt some of the smart technologies in automation and other aspects of fuel retailing, the official said, adding that the oil companies are looking at collaborating with Israeli startups for R&D in energy and related technologies.
ONGC Videsh and some other state oil firms keep scouting for overseas upstream opportunities.
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