An Israeli gas platform is seen in the Mediterranean sea, some 15 miles (24 km) west of the port city of Ashdod, February 25, 2013. REUTERS/Amir Cohen
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The companies developing Israel's largest natural gas fields and their Egyptian partner have bought control of a pipeline to Egypt, clearing the main obstacle to a $15 billion deal to export gas from the Jewish state to its former enemy.Israel's Delek Drilling LP, Noble Energy Inc. and Egyptian East Gas Co. signed a deal to buy a 39 percent stake in pipeline owner Eastern Mediterranean Gas Co., according to a statement released to the Tel Aviv bourse Thursday.The partners in Israeli reservoirs Tamar and Leviathan will use the EMG pipeline to implement a deal signed in February to export 64 million cubic meters of gas to Egypt over 10 years.Delek expects gas to start flowing in "early 2019," the statement said.Delek and its partners will begin working on reversing the flow of the EMG pipeline, which used to carry Egyptian gas to Israel.
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