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Israel: Court halts operations of Leviathan gas field

December 19, 2019 at 4:05 am

Leviathan gas field [Wikipedia]

An Israeli court issued a temporary order on Tuesday, barring any gas emissions from Israel’s Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea.

The field was scheduled to start production “within days,” according to local media sources.

The decision, which was taken by the Jerusalem District Court, came in response to recently filed petitions by six local councils against the Head of the Air Quality Division at Israel’s environmental protection ministry and the operator of the Leviathan project, questioning the “air emission permit granted for the Leviathan rig.”

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It was unclear how long the delay would last. A preliminary hearing took place on Wednesday afternoon.

Companies developing the field – US-based Nobel Energy, and Israel’s Derek Drilling and Ratio Oil – slammed the court’s accusations. The court order also came days after the companies announced that they had met all conditions precedent for the export of natural gas to Egypt from the Leviathan and Tamar gas fields offshore Israel.