Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) and its partners in the Leviathan field were advised on Dec. 23 by the Israel Anti-trust Authority of its decision to not submit the consent decree to the anti-trust tribunal for final approval. In response, Noble Energy and partners have requested a hearing on the topic with the anti-trust authority, which Noble Energy expects to occur in the next few weeks.
In March, Noble Energy, its partners, and the anti-trust authority reached agreement for the consent decree that included the divestiture of the Tanin and Karish gas fields. This agreement is a key component for the final investment decision on the Leviathan development.
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy's chairman, commented, "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, Nobel president and CEO, added, "We are disappointed in this latest communication from the anti-trust authority. 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."