Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, performing also the duties of Minister of economy, signed a decree that would transcend the powers of the head of the competition authority and approve an agreement with gas companies.
— MERETZ filed in the high court of appeals lawsuit against the gas agreement
The signing ceremony was held during the visit of Netanyahu to the industrial Park Neot Hovav in the South, accompanied by the Minister of energy of uvula of Steinitz.
It is expected that in the coming hours the block «Zionist camp» will sue in the high court of appeals with a demand to recognize the illegal step. The same appeal was filed by the Movement for clean power.
Recall that section 52 allows you to violate the antitrust laws if it is justified from the point of view of state security.
After the former head of the competition authority, David Gilo refused to approve the agreement with the gas companies, supporters of the agreement have begun to argue that it is important for the defense of the state because of the possibility to export gas to Egypt and Jordan.
At the moment Egypt declared a freeze in gas negotiations with Israel because of the rulings of international arbitration, according to which Cairo is obliged to pay the Israeli electric company 1.85 billion dollars for breach of contract. Gas supplies to Jordan are also under question.
It should be noted that, with high probability, if the agreement will not be signed, the American company Noble Energy will be served against Israel sued in international arbitration with a good chance of success.
In addition, in this case, the development of the Deposit «Leviathan» will be delayed for many years, and Israel will continue to depend on one of the Tamar field, controlled by the same companies that control the Leviathan.
Refusal to sign the agreement also will minimize the chance of joining the Israeli market search oil and gas other foreign companies.
Under the agreement, the government guaranteed not to make changes to the state regulation on the gas industry until 2029. The state will not provide guarantees that such changes will not be made by the Knesset on the individual initiative of the deputies.
In the agreement were made, the failure of which would free the state from this obligation. Until the end of 2017 the company will have to invest in the development of the field «Leviathan» at least 2 billion dollars, and the gas from the «Leviathan» in Israel is due to commence before the end of 2019. Thus, contrary to the recommendations of the Bank of Israel, specific sanctions for violation of these requirements in the agreement will not be registered.
In the matter of prices the parties agreed that customers will be able to choose one of three scenarios – average price for current gas transactions, the average price of gas in Israel without taking into account deals with «Israel Power» or link to oil prices. Soon, the average price is expected to decline from 5.4% to 4.7-5.2 USD per British thermal unit. However, due to the partial peg to the us price index, under unfavorable circumstances, the price may to the end of the 15-year period to grow to 6.4 per dollar.
Prior to the commissioning of deposits of «Leviathan» the state will have the right to control prices based on the lowest market price for gas, and not on the average, as was envisaged by the previous agreement.
In addition, within six years the company of the Yitzhak Teshuva will have to sell its stake in the field «Tamar» and Noble Energy to reduce their share of the «Tamar» up to 25%. Fields «Karish» and «Tannin» should be sold. The consortium Tamar already has permission to export gas to Egypt and Jordan.