Palestinian firm signs first gas deal with Israel

A Palestinian electric company was the first to sign an agreement to buy gas from Israel’s Leviathan natural gas field.

The Palestine Power Generation Company signed a 20-year deal to purchase $1.2 billion worth of gas, some 4.75 billion cubic meters, from the Leviathan group, according to reports. The Leviathan partners informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange of the agreement Jan. 5, according to the daily Haaretz.

Palestine Power is planning to build a $300 million power plant in Jenin and use the Leviathan gas to operate it, Reuters reported. The plant will be completed in about three years.

The Leviathan field, located about 80 miles west of Haifa, has not yet begun gas production; it is scheduled to start in 2017.

Several large natural gas fields have been discovered beneath the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Israel in recent years. They are projected to contain about 950 billion cubic meters of gas. — jta