Court confirms Israeli gas-export policy

The Israeli High Court of Justice has upheld a June decision by the government on division of natural gas supply between exports and domestic use (OGJ Online, Oct. 2, 2013).

At issue was whether policy on the allocation of gas from large deepwater discoveries was important enough to require a parliamentary vote.

The court confirmed a decision by a committee of ministers reserving 540 billion cu m of gas for domestic use and essentially limiting exports to 40% of Israel’s gas reserves.

Questions had arisen whether that export limit would jeopardize LNG schemes under consideration for giant Leviathan field operated by a group led by Noble Energy Corp. Noble has entered an agreement to farm out a Leviathan interest to Woodside Petroleum Ltd. of Australia to bring into the project a partner with LNG experience.

The export limit the government set June 23 was lower than one announced last year in a decision by the same committee that fell subject to controversy.

In an indication that the lower export limit hasn’t discouraged Woodside, the company said in a recent presentation that the June policy “provided a basis for a commercially viable export project for Leviathan.”

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