Five years on, Israelis see few benefits from major gas deal

JERUSALEM (AP) — Five years after Israel signed a landmark agreement to develop large offshore gas fields over the objections of antitrust authorities, environmentalists and consumer advocates, ordinary Israelis have yet to see the windfall promised by the government.

The deal has chiseled away at the monopoly held by Houston-based Noble Energy and Israel’s Delek Group, which discovered and developed the fields, bringing prices down. The country is on track to phase out coal and derive nearly all its electricity from cleaner-burning gas and solar power by 2025, and is exporting gas to neighboring Egypt and Jordan.

But the financial benefits have yet to trickle down to Israeli consumers, who continue to pay stubbornly high electricity costs even as oil and gas prices have plunged in recent years.

As the scramble for natural gas creates new alliances and rivalries across the eastern Mediterranean, Israel’s experience shows that while big gas

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