Silvan Shalom at Tamar natural gas rig 370.
(photo credit: Moshe Binyamin)
Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom signed a decree on Sunday that will
officially require natural gas entrepreneurs to report the pricing and the
profitability of their activities, the office announced on Wednesday.
new requirement, which is based on recommendations from a joint pricing
committee of the Finance and the Energy and Water ministries, will require
natural gas firms to provide such financial information on an individual project
level, ensuring that they refrain from loading together expenses from multiple
projects. Any natural gas partner that either has been selling natural gas or
holds a contract to do so as of September 1, 2012, will be required to report
these figures, according to the ministry. The reporting requirement also extends
to anyone who markets the natural gas to consumers.
“This is another step
designed to prevent a situation in which prices are set too high in the market,
due to a lack of suppliers in the market,” a statement from the Energy and Water
The duty for companies to submit their pricing and
profitability statistics will be semi-annual, with the first reporting date
occurring on May 5, the ministry noted.
As soon as Finance Minister Yair
Lapid signs onto the decree, companies will be required to report on their
pricing and profit activity in the natural gas market to the Energy and Water
Ministry. According to the information generated following the reports, the
office will examine the need for supervising natural gas price setting in
Israel, the ministry said.
Noble Energy is the majority stakeholder in
both of the large natural gas projects taking place off of Israel’s Haifa coast
at the moment – Tamar, the 250 billion cubic meter reservoir that already came
online two weeks ago, and Leviathan, a reservoir roughly double the
The company holds 36 percent of the working interest in Tamar, with
partner Delek Group holding a total of 31.25% (with 15.625% under subsidiary
Delek Drilling and 15.625% under subsidiary Avner Oil Exploration), Isramco
Negev 2 holding 28.75% and Dor Gas Exploration holding 4%.
the Delek Group and Ratio Oil Exploration are partners in the Leviathan field,
but a conditional agreement for a 30% share of the field has been made with
Australian firm Woodside Petroleum. At the moment, Noble Energy holds 39.66% of
the Leviathan field, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration each hold 22.67%
and Ratio holds 15%.
Noble Energy and the Delek Group are also leading a
drilling exploration on a prospect off the coast of Nahariya called Karish, in
which Noble has a 47.06% working interest, and Delek Group subsidiaries Delek
Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration each have a 26.47% interest.
largest stakeholders in Israel’s drilling efforts declined to comment in
response to Shalom’s decision to sign the supervisory decree.
day it announced this decision, the Energy and Water Ministry also reported that
the Petroleum Commission had granted two new exploration licenses on Monday to a
partnership group that involves a different mix from the Tamar and Leviathan
cohorts. The new two licenses, for exploring fields Neta and Royee, are held 70%
by Ratio Oil Exploration, 20% by Edison International and 10% by Israel
Opportunity Energy Resources. Neta and Royee are located within the Gal gas
reservoir block, about 150 km. west of Hadera.