Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras is considering bidding in a new tender to explore for oil and gas offshore Israel, a leading Israeli financial news website reported on Sunday. Calcalist reported that a final decision could be announced during a four-day visit to Israel by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro that began on Sunday.
The possibility of Petrobras taking part in Israel's newest auction for offshore blocks was raised during a meeting in Houston earlier this month between Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz and his Brazilian counterpart Bento Albuquerque, Calcalist said.
A number of large gas discoveries offshore Israel and in nearby eastern Mediterranean waters in the last decade have made Israel a potentially lucrative prospect for big energy firms.
Israel is tendering 19 new offshore blocks to oil and gas companies. A previous auction elicited bids from only two groups of companies, and the energy ministry said it expected more to compete this time as conditions have improved.
Exxon Mobil Corp, in a major policy shift, is also considering bidding in the auction.