Israel Says Reaches Deal to Develop Leviathan Natural Gas Field
JERUSALEM, Aug 13 (Reuters) – Israel's government said on Thursday it reached a deal that will pave the way for the development of Leviathan and two other offshore natural gas wells.
"The outline will bring Israel hundreds of billions of shekels in the coming years," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a news conference, saying he will present the agreement to the cabinet on Sunday for a vote.
The controversial deal initially revealed in June will allow Texas-based Noble Energy and Israel's Delek Group to keep ownership of the largest offshore field, Leviathan. They are required to sell off other assets, including stakes in another large deposit called Tamar.
Critics say the agreement still leaves Noble and Delek with too much power since they would control most of Israel's gas reserves.
Netanyahu, who has struggled to muster enough support for an agreement, earlier this week won crucial backing from the central bank.
(Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Jeffrey Heller)
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