A picture taken on July 30, 2015 shows a worker from the Israeli gas-drill Tamar platform in front of the Mari-B platform in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel. AFP PHOTO / AHIKAM SERI
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Israel's High Court blocked the government's controversial proposal to regulate the natural gas industry, in a dramatic ruling that complicates plans to develop the country's largest field and conclude export deals. The court said late Sunday that it objected to the so-called stability clause that would have prevented major regulatory changes for 10 years, inserted to encourage investment. It gave the government, which denounced the ruling, a year to revise its plan. Israel's offshore gas fields are held by a small number of companies headed by Texas-based Noble Energy Inc. and Israel's Delek Group Ltd.Noble can sue Israel for damages if the gas plan isn't approved and Leviathan isn't developed, analysts have said.While Stover called the ruling a "risk" to the timetable for developing Leviathan by the end of 2019, the chief executive of Delek Drilling LP of Israel, Yossi Abu, said in a conference call Monday that the companies would meet the development schedule.Noble is the only international company operating in Israel, after Woodside Petroleum Ltd. pulled out of negotiations in 2014 .
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