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גפן מגזין המושבות > מאמרים > Letter to the Israeli National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines May 28, 2010
29 למאי 2010
Letter to the Israeli National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines May 28, 2010
RWQkpDNmteljJdL, 29/05/2010 - 17:03
מכתב בענין נובל אנרג’י לאשת הקשר של הנחיות ה OECD בישראל

The Israeli National Contact Point for the OECD Guidelines for Multinational
Enterprises,
Attn: Lena Zeiger
Ministry of Industry and Trade
Foreign Trade Administration
5 Bank of Israel St.
Jerusalem
May 28, 2010


Dear Madam,

We are a large group of residents from 14 towns, both Arab and Jewish, of between 200
and 20,000 inhabitants. Our towns are situated in a 3 kilometer wide corridor amidst
farmland, national parks and beaches, with no significant industrial presence to date.

Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL), a Multinational Enterprise has applied to build a gas
processing plant in the midst of our communities as part of its development of the Tamar
gas-fields. We are writing to you to draw your attention to several severe and ongoing
violations of articles in the OECD guidelines on the part of Noble Energy in this project,
and to ask you to urgently investigate these violations.

In January 2009, Noble Energy declared it had discovered a significant reservoir of
natural gas at the "Tamar" drill site, about 90 kilometers west of the coast of Israel. Only
a year and some months later, in March 2010, did it first become known to the local
governing authority and to our communities, that Noble Energy has applied to the Israeli
Planning Authorities to erect a gas processing plant in dangerously close proximity to our
towns.

In all that time, no statement was publicly made by either the company or the Israel
Planning Authorities declaring intent to introduce a hazardous industrial plant into the
area. Furthermore, since discovery of the pending application, Noble Energy has not
answered our requests for information nor made any effort to meet with community
representatives (see attached letter to Noble Energy dated May 12, 2010.)

Noble Energy and its associates are thus already in clear and gross violation of articles in
the OECD Guidelines pertaining to behavior of Multinational Enterprises. We refer to
articles V.2b and V.3 of the Environment section and article 35 of the Commentary on
the OECD Guidelines, included in an annex to this letter for quick reference.

To our dismay, in a recent statement made on April 13, 2010, the Israeli Planning
Authorities have selected a short list of alternative land sites for the plant while the
optimal site from an environmental point of view – the sea-based site – has been rejected
in advance, ostensibly because the time to build it is prohibitively long and Israel’s gas
resources will be exhausted before then. We have clear evidence that this is not the case.

Furthermore, Noble Energy, in its investor presentation from March 2010 has stated that
it targets first sales in 2012 and that it expects sanction of the site for gas processing in 2010. We are deeply concerned that it is this corporate objective which is driving the unacceptably aggressive construction timetable of less than 3 years from discovery to revenues. Israel has no experience with regulating massive energy finds and we are deeply concerned that Nobel Energy may be exploiting the situation for its own benefit by cutting corners and driving the planning process with little consideration for the
environment and the affected communities. The fact that the Environmental Impact study
team has been selected and paid for by Noble Energy (!) is at the very least, suspect.

The technical data for this project are also exceptional. Most gas processing sites receive
the gas at a pressure in the region of 100 bar. Highest known pressures are a little above
200 bar. The Tamar site will be supplying gas at a pressure in excess of 400 bar. There is
no facility or pipeline in the world that has been constructed to withstand such pressures.
It is not at all clear that a facility can be built with sufficient safety margin at the
extremely small available distance from surrounding towns (less than 1.5 kilometers!). A
sea-based option is the obvious choice in this regard.

All of the above actions indicate to us that Noble Energy may be in serious violation of
articles pertaining to OECD recommendations on minimizing the effects of energy
production on the environment: C(74)216 of 14 November 1974, C(76)162 of 12 October
1976 and C(79)116 of 8 May 1979.

In view of the above well founded concerns, we call upon OECD Watch and the
relevant OECD bodies to investigate the business activities and policy of Noble
Energy with respect to development of the Tamar gas find.

Furthermore we request your assistance in immediately stopping the reckless,
headlong project-sanctioning process and in coercing Noble Energy to consult with
the affected communities and transparently share its information and intentions, in
accordance with accepted practices in developed nations and with the OECD
Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises.

We look forward to immediate action on your part. Please be aware that the extremely
doubtful planning process is going ahead in great haste and action is urgently required.

We will gladly share all the information we have gathered with whomever you see fit to
appoint to investigate.

Sincerely,

Stanley Barkan and Mike Adel,
Representatives of citizens of the following towns and villages:
Zichron Yaacov, Fureidis, Dor, Nahsholim, Ein Ayala, Habonim, Zrufa, Ofer, Kerem
Maharal, Geva Carmel, Hahotrim, Bet Hananya, Bat Shlomo, Meir Shfeya

CC:
Mr. Manfred Schekulin, Chair
Investment Committee
OECD
2, rue André Pascal
75775 Paris Cedex 16
France
Email: investment@oecd.org
Tel.: +33 1 45 24 82 00
Fax: +33 1 45 24 85 00

OECD Watch Secretariat
SOMO – Centre for Research on Multinational
Corporations
Sarphatistraat 30
1018 GL Amsterdam
The Netherlands
Email: info@oecdwatch.org
Tel: +31 (0)20-639-1291
Fax: +31 (0)20-639-1321
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