A U.S. energy company says Israel's longtime dependence on natural gas imports could soon come to an end.
Noble Energy chief executive Charles D. Davidson said in Tel Aviv on Tuesday that two undersea gas fields his company is developing off Israel's coast are set to become operational in 2012.
He says he expects the fields to produce enough gas for Israel's needs, and potentially enough for export. The possibility of exporting fuel would mark a dramatic turnaround for Israel, which is notoriously empty of natural resources.
Davidson said Noble has already invested $700 million in the project, and the price tag could rise to $3 billion. Davidson is in Israel for an energy conference.
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