US operator Noble hopes to sanction Israel’s 22 tcf Leviathan field by end-2016. It is prepared to consider a scaled-back project to get things moving. Israeli regulatory problems are clearing. But the key hurdle – a lack of sales deal – remains.

Ken Fisher, Executive VP and CFO of US firm Noble Energy, which operates Israel’s two key gas finds, says that “I would expect probably by late 2016” the company will sanction development of the 22 tcf Leviathan...