The American firm Noble Energy has expressed its displeasure in the wake of a decision made by Israel’s Antitrust Authority to not submit the Consent Decree to the Israeli Antitrust Tribunal for final approval for the deal over Israel’s Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea. Israeli regulators have determined that the partnership between Noble, Israeli company Delek and others constitutes a cartel.
Even Israel’s Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has gone on record as disapproving of this decision.
In response to the decision Noble Energy and partners have requested a hearing on the topic with the Antitrust Authority, which the company expects will be held in the next few weeks.
In March 2014, Noble Energy asserts, its partners, and the Antitrust Authority reached an agreement for the Consent Decree that included the divestiture of the Tanin and Karish gas fields. This agreement, it says, 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 Antitrust 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 Antitrust 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 Chief Executive Officer, added, “We are disappointed in this latest communication from the Antitrust 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.”
Noble Energy is an independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and natural gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin and Marcellus Shale, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. It is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL.