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November 23, 2017 1:59 pm

Looking to Increase Israeli Ventures, India Bids for Offshore Exploration Rights in Mediterranean

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A gas rig off of Israel’s coast. Photo: YouTube screenshot. – A consortium of Indian companies has applied for an Israeli Energy Ministry tender for offshore exploration licenses, signaling another step in the warming ties between Israel and India.

The tender, which closed last week, offered exploration licenses for 24 of the 69 potential areas designated for oil and natural gas exploration in Israel’s economic waters.

The Greek energy giant Energean Oil & Gas also submitted a bid. The Indian consortium comprises companies with an estimated combined worth of $90 billion, employing some 100,000 people. The tender’s results are expected to be released in the coming weeks.

India is Israel’s 10th-largest trade partner worldwide and its second-largest trade partner in Asia. In 2016, trade between Israel and India amounted to $4 billion.

In April, Israel Aerospace Industries inked agreements amounting to $2 billion with India, including a $1.6 billion contract to deliver a medium-range surface-to-air missile defense system and a $400 million deal for a long-range surface-to-air missile system. But this week, Indian media reported that the South Asian country cancelled a $525 million missile deal with Israel.

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