We’re determined to get the gas out: Netanyahu
The Israeli Finance Ministry will adhere to demands from Noble Energy (ticker: NBL) and Delek to increase the price of gas from its offshore operations near the country.
The two large exploration and production companies have been at odds with the government regarding resource prices and the monopolization of certain projects.
The agreement from the Finance Ministry is an interesting twist after Noble and Delek refused to accept the lower domestic price limit, according to Haaretz, an Israeli newspaper. The Finance Minister essentially handed his authority to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, diminishing the power of the former in the contract talks.
By doing so, the government elects not to officially regulate prices and will instead allow them to be determined by independent electricity producers. The rule may change when the decision expires in six years.
Netanyahu received criticism from local media outlets for bowing to the gas producers, but the Prime Minister defended his decision in a recent cabinet meeting.
“We’re determined to get the gas out,” Netanyahu said.
“One of the things we need for the next decades is utilization of our gas resources. This is not solely for the purpose of supplying our current needs; it is also aimed at supplying our needs later.” Netanyahu added, “Eventually, we want to bring about the development of additional fields, and we know that Israel needs to be attractive, just like other countries have realized they need to be attractive both to supply the needs of the domestic economy and to be attractive to investors, because when you boil it down, the investors are the ones who develop the gas fields. That is what happened in the advanced countries that have gas, and there are a lot of them. It didn’t happen in other countries that decided to surrender to demagogic dictates. They went on arguing, and the gas stayed in the ground.”
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