Houston, Dec. 17, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Earlier today, Noble Energy, Inc. (“Noble Energy” or “The Company”) (NYSE: NBL) was notified that the Government of Israel acted to implement the Natural Gas Framework through execution of Section 52 of the Restrictive Trade Practices Act.  Execution of Section 52 resolves and provides exemption from claims of the Anti-trust Authority with respect to the Leviathan Joint Venture partners’ acquisition of petroleum rights in the underlying permits.

The Natural Gas Framework establishes the regulatory certainty and stability necessary to proceed with development of both the Tamar expansion and Leviathan, while providing transparency for future domestic pricing and natural gas competition in Israel. The Natural Gas Framework also enables marketing of Leviathan gas to Israeli customers for the first time.  The development of Leviathan will substantially expand Noble Energy’s capacity to deliver gas to Israel and the region, as well as provide a second source of domestic natural gas supply and redundancy of infrastructure for the people of Israel.

Noble Energy has continued to take steps to move forward with development of Leviathan and the Tamar expansion by advancing technical work and negotiating gas sales agreements.  In addition, the Company is updating and finalizing capital investment requirements. These activities will enable the Company to conclude external financing agreements required to reach final investment decisions (FIDs). FID for each project is currently estimated to be taken before the end of 2016.

Keith Elliott, Senior Vice President, Eastern Mediterranean, commented, “We are pleased that the Government of Israel, under the leadership of the Prime Minister and Minister of Energy, has recognized the importance of natural gas development to the security and economy of Israel and the region. This enables us to move forward with development planning. The high quality of the Tamar and Leviathan reservoirs, combined with Noble Energy’s strong track record of major project execution, gives us confidence that these world-class assets are well positioned to meet the growing and undersupplied natural gas demand of Israeli and regional customers.”

Noble Energy operates Tamar and Leviathan with 36 percent and nearly 40 percent working interests, respectively.

Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL) is a global independent oil and natural gas exploration and production company with total proved reserves of 1.7 billion barrels of oil equivalent at year-end 2014 (pro forma for the Rosetta acquisition). The company’s diverse resource base includes positions in four premier unconventional U.S. onshore plays – the DJ Basin, Eagle Ford Shale, Delaware Basin, and Marcellus Shale – and offshore in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, Eastern Mediterranean and West Africa. Driven by its purpose, Energizing the World, Bettering People’s Lives®, the company is committed to safely and responsibly providing energy to the world while positively impacting the lives of our stakeholders. For more information, visit