Coastal authority ordered to return donation from natural gas company

After two court petitions by the environmental group Home Guardians and the intervention of the Interior Ministry’s regional director, the Carmel Beach Regional Authority in northern Israel announces that it will return a $480,000 donation received from the natural gas company Energean Israel.

Energean  Israel, a subsidiary of the Greek Energean, owns the franchise to the Karish and Tanin natural gas fields off the Mediterranean coast and is exploring for additional oil and gas in the area. Karish and Tanin are to set to start commercial production next year.

The coastal authority is responsible for monitoring rogue emissions from offshore natural gas production facilities and was initially unwilling to accept the idea that taking a donation from one of the gas companies could potentially cause it a conflict of interest.

Energean is also fined NIS 878,000 ($270,000) by the Environmental Protection Ministry for violating its permit on waste flushed out to sea by one of its exploratory drilling vessels.

— Sue Surkes