Woodside happy to push on with Israeli LNG deal

Woodside Petroleum has played down suggestions its gas project in Israel is under threat as it faces regulatory hurdles.

Woodside Petroleum has played down suggestions its gas project in Israel is under threat as it faces regulatory hurdles.

Chief executive Peter Coleman said he was confident the Leviathan deal would go ahead.

In December, Woodside announced it had struck a $US696 million ($679m) deal with US-based firm Noble Energy giving it a 30 per cent interest in the Leviathan gas prospect off the coast of Israel. But analysts have questioned whether the Israeli government is willing to enact laws to allow the export of liquefied natural gas, given the country's limited resources.

Woodside will consider a final investment decision on a domestic gas development related to Leviathan this year. Last month the oil and gas giant increased its capital expenditure budget for 2013, forecasting it will spend about $US1 billion on Leviathan.

Israeli media has reported the head of the Israel Antitrust Authority will soon decide whether a cartel exists between Noble and its partners in the Leviathan field, including Delek Drilling.

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