Gov't won't retroactively raise Tamar royalties

The Sheshansky committee will propose not discussing raising royalties on current oil and gas discoveries.

The Sheshansky committee, which is reviewing oil and gas royalties will apparently announce on Sunday that it not discuss raising royalties on current oil and gas discoveries. Particpants at a meeting yesterday convened by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu informed "Globes" of this.

Minister of National Infrastructures Uzi Landau requested yesterday's meeting in response to concern that Minister of Finance Yuval Steinitz intended to raise royalties retroactively. The partners in the Tamar discovery, led by Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG), and Isramco Ltd. (Nasdaq: ISRL; TASE: ISRA.L), launched a campaign against Steinitz's initiative, and even sought intervention by the US administration. They got it; the US Charge d'Affaires in Israel sent a letter to Netanyahu denouncing the initiative.

At the end of yesterday's meeting, the Ministry of Finance announced that Steinitz acceded to Netanyahu and Landau's request to add Oil and Gas Supervisor Dr. Yaakov Meimaran to the Sheshansky committee. Steinitz also agreed that in the event of a tie vote, the committee chairman will get a tie-breaking extra vote, and that Deputy Attorney General Avi Licht will join the committee as an observer.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 27, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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