Israel will keep 60% of its natural gas reserves for domestic use and permit the export of the remaining 40%. After three years of discussions and a major public campaign on the subject, the cabinet will finally be asked on Sunday to approve a joint decision that will be submitted by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Minister of Energy and Water Resources Silvan Shalom, Minister of Finance Yair Lapid and Governor of the Bank of Israel Prof. Stanley Fischer.
Netanyahu said in a short statement today following a meeting of the four men, "I'm grateful to everybody for their hard work. This is an important day. The State of Israel received a gift from nature in large quantities of natural gas. After a series of long meetings, we have jointly decided to significantly increase the amount of gas for Israel's use. This will supply our needs for 25 years. This is a balance between the need to ensure energy sources for Israel's citizens and the need to export gas which will generate revenue for use by Israel's citizens. Israel expects to earn $60 billion from gas exports.
"We will bring this decision for the cabinet to approve on Sunday. We want to get this approved very quickly. We want to export gas and fill the state's coffers with billions of shekels," Netanyahu added.
Israel's natural gas reserves are expected to total 900 billion cubic meters (BCM). This means Israel will retain 540 BCM for domestic use. The Tzemach report had recommended a higher figure for export with Israel retaining 500 BCM.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 19, 2013
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