Israel to Adopt Norway Model for Gas Profits

YERUSHALAYIM -

The contentious issue of what to do with state revenues from the huge offshore natural gas fields has been solved, according to Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom.

Israel will establish a natural gas profit fund based on the Norwegian system, Shalom announced, after a meeting at the end of last week with Ola Borten Moe, his counterpart from Oslo, Globes reported.

Norway allocates 3 percent of the country’s gas profits to a fund that the state can use for various national needs. Reputedly the largest in the world, the Norwegian fund contains about $700 billion, and all of its investments are foreign-based, Shalom’s office said.

Moe advised Shalom on management of such a fund, as well as employee training and other issues.

In response, Shalom said Israel would adopt the Norwegian formula.

“I am pleased about the establishment of the Israeli fund and that it is being created on the basis of the Norwegian model,” Shalom said. “If we achieve the same success in 20 years, the citizens of Israel will benefit.”

Moe expressed a great interest in cooperating with Israel in the future on hi-tech industry issues and on sharing knowledge, Shalom’s office said.