Israel on Nov. 15 said it was accepting bids for the rights to drill in 24 offshore exploration blocks as the country looks to bolster its oil and gas sector.

Large natural gas deposits have already been found off Israel’s Mediterranean coast, and Israel expects the new tender will attract a host of foreign operators, leading to further discoveries.

Israel’s Energy Ministry also released results from a study conducted by Paris-based consultant Beicip-Franlab that estimated there are still 2,137 Bcm of natural gas and 6.6 billion barrels of oil to be discovered in Israeli waters.

Licenses will be awarded for a three-year period with an opportunity to extend another three years if work has begun. The individual blocs are up to 400 square kilometers (154 square miles) in size.