Shalom wants higher gas export threshold
Energy Minister Silvan Shalom has proposed to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for Israel to retain 500 BCM gas reserves.
The main recommendation submitted to the cabinet will be to limit Israel's gas exports by leaving 500 billion cubic meters (BCM) or more as a strategic reserve to provide the country's needs for 25 years. The Tzemach Report had recommended 450 BCM. In the protocols of the Tzemach Committee that are about to be made available to the public, the finance ministry supported a far smaller strategic gas reserve.
Energy market sources believe that the gas export decision has been delayed because of Netanyahu and Shalom's desire to reach a broad consensus in the cabinet. At present, opposition to the report's recommendations is being led by Minister for Environmental Protection Amir Peretz who thinks that the strategic gas reserve should be raised from 450 BCM to 600 BCM.
In addition, sources inform "Globes" that Deputy Attorney General Adv. Avi Licht will seek a legal opinion on whether the government is authorized to make a decision by itself on limiting gas exports, or if the decision must be passed by the Knesset. The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee that meets today is demanding that the issue be passed by the Knesset due to the major financial significance of the subject and its repercussions for Israel's energy sector and the entire economy.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 5, 2013
© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2013
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