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Politics, Geopolitics & Conflict

Good news this week for gas-starved Jordan and US discovery darling Noble Energy in Israel. Israel's national planning and construction committee has approved a route for an underground gas pipeline that will transport Israeli natural gas to Jordan. At the eastern end of the route on the border with Jordan, an underground valve will be built between the transportation systems of the two countries. The pipeline is designed to make it possible to transport gas to Jordan within a year, in accordance with the agreement signed between the two countries. In a deal that could be worth $15 billion but has not yet been signed, Jordan has agreed to take gas for 15 years from Israel's Leviathan offshore natural gas field that has still to go on line.

And for Noble Energy, the long-term drama over its potential monopoly hold on Israeli gas after two major discoveries in the Levant Basin is closer to being resolved. Earlier this week, Israeli lawmakers voted in favor of a draft plan that would allow the Leviathan field (the supergiant gas field that was the largest of Noble’s discoveries in the basin) and two smaller fields to be developed by a consortium led by Noble Energy and its Israeli partner, Delek Group.

The tradeoff here for maintaining ownership of Leviathan and the two smaller fields is the already-producing Tamar field. Tamar was another big discovery, but much smaller than Leviathan. According to the draft outline,…

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