US firm Noble Energy says that sanctioning of development of its 22 tcf 2010 Leviathan field offshore Israel is “on track for end 2016/early 2017.” The firm now says that it can sanction phase 1 of development based only on domestic sales, and a modest export deal to Jordan.

But given that domestic sales will cannibalize those of Noble’s existing Tamar field – Israel’s only current producer – a key export deal will be needed sooner or later. And it is...