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Development of Israel’s 22 tcf Leviathan gas field moved closer this week after the country’s government approved an amended gas outline.
The original outline included a ‘stability clause’ which would have guaranteed US operator Noble Energy and Israeli partner Delek unchanged development terms for at least 10 years (MEES, 1 April). Noble agreed to have the clause removed in order to get the remaining outline. It has accepted assurances that the government will not change the fiscal terms – though of course governments change.
The outline is now likely to enter force by the end of the year.
The framework deal was formulated as a way to bypass an antitrust ruling that Noble and Delek were operating as a cartel offshore Israel, given that they operate over 90% of the 40 tcf of gas discovered offshore Israel, including not only Leviathan but Israel’s only producing gas field, 10 tcf Tamar.
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