Israel’s Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) has decided to keep information about gas sales from the Leviathan field to Jordan and Egypt secret, Arab48.com reported on Sunday. This approach is very different to revenue data from the Tamar field, which is run by the same companies.
According to economic media outlet The Marker, the decision is related to commercial secrecy. It reported the CBS as saying that it would change its policy regarding the announcement of such details about the Leviathan field. “The claims about commercial secrecy are not logical and contradict with the policies adopted by the CBS which has so far revealed the amount of gas exports from Tamar field,” it explained.
The companies operating the gas fields have not, they insist, asked the CBS to hide information about the revenue stream. Both normally announce their respective sales details every three months, but they are not expected to do so in the immediate future.
Why the secrecy? The CBS pointed out that gas is still a developing sector in Israel and information about it is of “great importance”. Hence, while it is ready to provide certain details about the Leviathan field, for example, it is looking at a mechanism to do so while keeping certain information hidden.
Eran Azran wrote in Haaretz earlier this month that Israeli gas is being sold to Jordan and Egypt at a lower price than it is being sold to the Israeli Electricity Company. The company has protested against this and said that it is paying a monopoly price.