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Israeli Gas Field Developers Sign $10B Deal With Jordan

Backers of Israel’s massive Leviathan natural gas field signed a $10 billion deal on Monday to supply 1.6 trillion feet (tcf) of gas to Jordan’s National Electric Power Company.

“Subject to regulatory approvals from Israel and Jordan, sales …are anticipated to commence at field startup,” said Texas-based Noble Energy, the project’s operator.

Talks on the contract began more than two years ago.

The 15-year deal for Leviathan, which holds an estimated 22 tcf of gas, should help the U.S.-Israeli group secure funds to bring it online.

Production is expected to begin around 2019 or 2020.

The Leviathan group has also been in talks to export much larger quantities of gas to companies in Egypt.

Shares in the Israeli partners – which include Ratio Oil , Delek Group and its subsidiaries Avner Oil and Delek Drilling – were halted by the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange for more than a half hour.

Leviathan, discovered in the eastern Mediterranean in 2010, is one of the world’s largest offshore gas discoveries of the past decade.

Last year, Israel approved plans for a 15.5 kilometer (9.6 mile) pipeline near the Dead Sea to export gas to Jordan.

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