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January 31, 2019 12:03 pm

With Gas Set to Flow From Leviathan Field by End of Year, Israeli PM Extols Energy Independence as ‘Great Revolution’

avatar by Barney Breen-Portnoy

Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz speaks, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looking on, at the inauguration event of the newly-arrived foundation platform of Leviathan natural gas field, in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Haifa, Jan. 31, 2019. Photo: Marc Israel Sellem / Pool via Reuters.

Israel is set to become an “energy power” after the flow of natural gas from the Leviathan field under the Mediterranean Sea begins later this year, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Thursday.

Netanyahu spoke as he visited Leviathan’s foundation platform, which recently arrived at a location around 80 miles off the Haifa coast via a barge from Texas.

Once completed, the Leviathan project will be “a critical component of the strategic, energy, economic and diplomatic strength of the State of Israel,” the prime minister stated.

“A gas pipeline will run from here and will link us to the gas economy of Europe,” Netanayhu — who was joined on Thursday’s Leviathan tour by Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz — noted. “It will reach our Arab neighbors. First and foremost, it will supply clean gas to the citizens of Israel. Two-thirds of every shekel’s worth of gas extracted from the sea here will go straight into the state treasury. This is hundreds of billions of shekels that will serve us in education, social welfare and the other vital needs of the State of Israel and the citizens of Israel.”

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“This is a great revolution,” Netanyahu added. “An independent Israel will not depend on anyone for its energy needs.”

The partners in the Leviathan venture are Israeli companies Delek Drilling and Ratio Oil, with 45.34% and 15% stakes respectively, and US-based Noble Energy, which holds a 39.66% share.

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