No gas cartel decision before new governent formed

Leviathan

The Israel Antitrust Authority is avoiding meetings with the gas companies and the other regulators.

Last week, the partners in the Leviathan natural gas field were to have signed a compromise agreement with the state on the structure of the gas sector in Israel, after Israel Antitrust Authority director general Prof. David Gilo decided on a two-month postponement of his statement on the issue of an agreement in restraint of trade. Two months and one week have passed since that decision, but the compromise agreement appears more remote than ever.

In view of the deadlock, the gas companies are concerned about a sudden declaration of an agreement in restraint of trade. The Antitrust Authority is trying to calm things down by saying that no such announcement will be made in the coming weeks before a government is formed and the new Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water Resources appointed. The gas companies say that such a declaration will not be just another milestone; it will completely change the picture, because Nobel Energy will not accept being cited as a lawbreaker. For its part, Nobel Energy is already preparing its lawyers for the day after the declaration.

Reuters