From Reuters

Israel’s Supreme Court blocked a controversial plan to develop the country’s natural gas fields on Sunday, dealing a blow to energy companies operating in the eastern Mediterranean and drawing fire from the government.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reached a deal last year with Texas-based Noble Energy (NBL.N) and Israel’s Delek Group (DLEKG.TA) that would leave them in control of the country’s largest gas field, Leviathan, while forcing them to sell smaller, yet sizeable, assets.

The agreement also provided an outline for the next decade, with the government committing to leave taxes, export quotas and other regulation unchanged, and the companies agreeing to develop Leviathan at an accelerated pace.

The court, however, said the government was not in a position to make such long-term commitments.

A commitment “that binds the government to the outline, including no changes in legislation and opposing legislative initiatives for 10 years – cannot stand,” the court said in its ruling.

The cabinet could try to pass a law in parliament, the judges said, but given the strong opposition and Netanyahu’s single-seat majority, such a move seemed unlikely.

Continue reading story…

Legal Notice