Israel’s cabinet has reached agreements with Noble Energy and Delek Holdings to increase gas production in the East Mediterranean fields of Tamar and Leviathan, reported Quartz.
The new deal, which still must be approved by the Knesset (Israeli parliament), will clear the companies involved of monopoly charges while also requiring them to reduce their holdings over the next few years.
Delek will sell its stake of the Tamar field, and Noble will reduce its holdings from 31% to 26%. Development of the fields has faced years of hold-ups over charges of a monopoly.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is a major proponent of the new deal saying, “This process will not be stopped.
The gas will be extracted from the bottom of the sea and will reach Israeli citizens, Israeli industry and the Israeli economy – for the benefit of the citizens of Israel,” reported Reuters.
The prime minister is hoping that the new agreements will fast-track development of the Leviathan field. At estimates of 4b barrels of oil reserves, Leviathan is one of the few untapped super-giant Mediterranean oil and gas fields.