Israel’s Antitrust Authority has reversed a decision taken last March to allow Houston-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, majority stakeholders in around 40 tcf of natural gas discoveries offshore Israel, to keep hold of both the giant 22 tcf Leviathan field and the 10 tcf Tamar field.

Anti-trust Commissioner David Gilo labelled the firms, which operate all of Israel’s major offshore discoveries (see table), a cartel. This reverses a March 2014 ruling stating Noble and Delek could keep hold of Leviathan and Tamar if the two companies sold off two smaller fields, Karish and Tanin, which together hold approximately 3 tcf. The reversal follows pressure from Israeli PM Benyamin Netanyahu’s parliamentary opponents, with elections in March fast approaching. The companies will have to sell their holdings in either Tamar or Leviathan. (CONTINUED - 896 WORDS)