Israel’s highly anticipated bid round for 24 offshore blocks (MEES, 30 September) was finally launched on 15 November after almost five years of no new exploration rights being granted. The deadline for the submission of bids is 21 April 2017 while winners will be announced on 15 July.

Possibly the most noteworthy of the conditions of the bid round is that firms with a stake of more than 25% in a producing field will not be entitled to participate. Israel only has one producing field,...