Regulatory hurdles and tense regional geopolitics have seen exploration offshore Israel grind to a halt since July, despite 36 tcf of gas discoveries.

Several key licenses are due to expire by early 2016 with companies facing the prospect of  a ‘use it or lose it’ deadline, and a number of them have scheduled drilling next year. 

No exploration wells have been spudded offshore Israel for five months now though, the first such barren period since...