David L. Stover, President of the Noble Energy, Texas, said Monday that the High Court ruling that struck down the stability clause of the framework accord governing the offshore gas project, is “disappointing and represents another risk to Leviathan timing.” Development of a project of this magnitude, where large investments are to be made over multiple years, requires Israel to provide a stable investment climate, Stover said in a statement.
“Noble Energy has consistently maintained that stability is a minimum condition for project development, and our position has not changed. As we have stated before, we will vigorously defend our rights related to our assets to protect shareholder value. It is now up to the government of Israel to deliver a solution which at least meets the terms of the Framework, and to do so quickly."
At the same time, DEBKAfile discloses: The government and the gas consortium took into account the High Court ruling that struck down the stability clause and were already quietly negotiating an alternative formulation. The discussions had gained momentum from, a) heavy Turkish pressure to sign contracts for the regular supply of gas, and 2) the discovery that the gas fields contained much larger quantities than originally estimated that might even offset the consortium’s consent to forego the stability clause.