Israel Expected to Approve Less Natural Gas Exports Than Recommended

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Israel is expected to approve exports of natural gas but in smaller amounts than the government’s Tzemach Committee recommended last year, sources said Tuesday.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met Tuesday with top economic policymakers, including Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Bank of Israel Governor Stanley Fischer, in a bid resolve differences of opinion over the issue before it goes to the cabinet on Sunday.

Sources said the cabinet would likely get a recommendation to reserve between 520 billion and 540 billion cubic meters of gas reserves for domestic use, far more than the 450 BCM Tzemach had proposed.

The meeting also weighed whether to ban exports from the Tamar field, which began production in March, and then how to allocate export quotas for the other fields, mostly notably the giant Leviathan field.

Israel’s proven and probable gas reserves are estimated to be about 850 BCM and may grow to 900 BCM after the recent discoveries at the Karish field.

Drilling at the Leviathan natural gas field off the Mediterranean shore. Credit: Courtesy Albatross

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