Israel reaches deal on natural gas development

The Associated Press

Israel says it has reached an agreement with developers on a regulatory framework for its natural gas reserves.

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israel says it has reached an agreement with developers on a regulatory framework for its natural gas reserves.

The agreement comes after months of squabbling that began last year when Israel's antitrust commissioner considered designating the American-Israeli partnership that is developing the gas a monopoly.

The deal sets a price ceiling for future sales to Israeli companies and commits the gas firms to complete the development of the country's largest offshore gas field, known as Leviathan, by 2020.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the agreement at a press conference on Thursday. The deal will be brought to a Cabinet vote on Sunday.

Critics say the deal bows to the gas firms' demands and does not do enough to protect Israeli consumers.

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