Israel, Cyprus and Lebanon remain hopeful that the August 2015 discovery of the 25 tcf Zohr gas field offshore Egypt will reignite interest in their upstream sectors but regulatory issues, lack of viable export options and domestic politics are proving difficult hurdles to overcome.

Israel is planning on offering 24 offshore blocks (see map) each 400km² in an international bid round slated for November of this year, following firmly in the footsteps of its neighbor Cyprus, which placed...