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Israel: More gas customers, please

The country has invoked new emergency regulations as offshore pipeline repairs reduce domestic supply—but is it a sensible move?

In April, the Israeli government passed new emergency times regulations initiated by the Ministry of Energy, based on the Gas Law of 2002. These provide extensive, and hitherto untested, powers to the ministry in the event of an emergency in the domestic natural gas market. A state of emergency can be declared as soon as "the hourly demand for gas in any given hour exceeds the maximum amount that can be supplied". The regulations empower the ministry to decide on how to allocate the gas available. These emergency measures were invoked on 7 September for a six-week period between 19 September and 31 October on the grounds that maintenance work would be carried out on the two 150km (93-mile)

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