The Israeli government and the energy companies involved in the country’s emerging natural gas industry have reached an agreement that will allow the continuous development of major gas fields off Israel’s shores, the Jewish state’s National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Resources Ministry announced Wednesday.
Negotiations with the companies—Texas-based Noble Energy and Delek Group, which together control the Leviathan, Tamar, Tanin, and Karish offshore gas fields—hit an impasse earlier this week. But according to a ministry statement, “Discussions on the framework were renewed on Wednesday afternoon, and a satisfactory agreement was reached later that night.”
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the deal, telling reporters on Thursday, “This framework focuses on Israel’s best interests. I would like to thank [Energy] Minister [Yuval] Steinitz and the team the headed the negotiations for reaching a deal that would see hundreds of billions of shekels find their way to the public in the coming years. The gas harvested, being an alternative energy source, will reduce the high cost of living. [Revenues] will be used for health care, education, and welfare.”