The United States supports
moving forward with offshore natural gas deals in the Mediterranean involving the U.S. company Noble Energy, a State Department spokesman said on Tuesday.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has also discussed the issue with Israeli Prime
Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, State Department spokesman Jeff Rathke said
"We continue to engage and we support all parties to move forward with the natural gas deal signed between Noble Energy and entities in Jordan and Egypt," Rathke told reporters. "We strongly believe that these deals would enhance energy security in the region."
Rathke said the debate over Noble's deal with Israel was "a legal debate" that did not involve the United States but said, "It is important for all countries to have a strong investment climate, including a consistent and predictable regulatory framework."
Last week, Israel's competition regulator recommended breaking up control of the country's offshore gas reserves by Noble Energy and Delek Group, who together hold 85 percent of the giant Leviathan natural gas field.
(Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)