JERUSALEM – Israel has decided to export 40 percent of the natural gas it expects to produce from offshore wells, keeping a larger amount for local use than expected.
The figure, announced by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, is lower than the 53 percent recommended by an inter-ministerial committee last year. The remainder should provide Israel with enough gas for 25 years.
The decision ends months of uncertainty on export amounts. Netanyahu's Cabinet is expected to approve the measure on Sunday.
Israel began pumping gas from a large field off its coast earlier this year. A second, larger field destined for export is to go on line in 2016.
Netanyahu said Israel seeks to earn $60 billion over the next two decades from the exports.