Yitzhak Tshuva, who controls Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG), told an analysts conference held by the company this morning at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that he was committed to the Israeli economy and to supplying gas to the 2,000 factories waiting for it. He also expressed confidence that more gas would be found within Israel's Economic Zone.
"We are committed to the State of Israel, to Israeli society as a whole and to our investors, and our obligation is first and foremost to bring the natural gas to the 2,000 Israeli factories that are waiting for development of the gas reserves, to the local power producers, and to the Israeli economy in general," Tshuva said in his first public comments since Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu used his authority under section 52 of the Restrictive Trade Practices Law to give effect to the state's agreement with the gas exploration companies.
"After all the delays that there have been in developing the Leviathan field, now that the prime minister of Israel has signed on the gas agreement, and after the security cabinet, the government and the Knesset have approved it, now we are getting underway and starting to realize Delek Group's vision, a vision that will turn the group into an important player in the global energy industry as well.
"As far as that industry is concerned," Tshuva continued, "our region has huge potential for supplying energy to many places around the world. I believe that there are many further gas and oil reserves that have yet to be discovered in the whole region - in Israel, Cyprus, Egypt, and many other places. The more those reserves are discovered and developed, and the more reserves there are, the greater will be the extent of cooperation in the region, between countries and companies. This will boost the profitability of the companies, and will also represent an important bridge for joint activity and for building peace between us and our neighbors.
"Israel's energy industry will change and will benefit from greater use of natural gas. The gas that flows to the local economy reduces air pollution, generates revenue for the state, and strengthens the economy. Further development of our energy market will ultimately consolidate consumption from local sources and lead to huge revenue that will contribute to education, welfare, healthcare infrastructure, and the creation of thousands of new jobs," Tshuva concluded.
At the conference, Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu presented the work plan for Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas for 2016, and said, "2016 will be a year in which the Israel gas industry turns a corner. It will be a year of intense activity in which the development of the gas discoveries will go ahead. During the coming year we will be working towards meeting a series of milestones, from the signing of regional export contracts, to obtaining finance and optimizing the development plans, with the goal being an investment decision on developing Leviathan and expanding the Tamar project as soon as possible.
"We stand before a unique regional opportunity. In 2016, the export of Israeli gas to Jordan will start, to the Jordanian Dead Sea plants, and the foundations will be laid for establishing the Israeli and regional gas industry for decades to come, ensuring energy security for the State of Israel," Abu said.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 27, 2015
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