HOUSTON -- Israel’s Anti-Trust Authority has decided not to submit a Consent Decree concerning the offshore Leviathan gas field to the country’s Anti-trust Tribunal.
In response, operator Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL) and its partners in Leviathan have requested a hearing on the topic with the Anti-trust Authority.
Last March the partners reached agreement with the Authority for the Consent Decree, which included the divestiture of the offshore Tanin and Karish gas fields. According to Noble, this is a key component for the final investment decision on the Leviathan development.
Noble chairman Charles D. Davidson said: "The actions of the Anti-trust Authority are another disturbing example of the uncertain regulatory environment in Israel. Specifically, this is a matter that we believed was resolved some time ago and follows on recent assurances from the Anti-trust Authority that approval was forthcoming. We believe this is a harmful precedent for Israel to set and we will vigorously defend our rights relating to our assets."
David L. Stover, president and CEO, added: "Final resolution of this item, as well as a number of other regulatory matters, is required before we proceed with additional exploration or development investments in our Israel business."