Israel's economy minister resigned on Sunday, opening the way for the government to greenlight a multibillion dollar gas deal with U.S. energy giant Noble Energy, a statement from the Prime Minister's office said. "Minister (Aryeh) Deri announced to me his intention to quit. In order to proceed with the (offshore gas) agreement the ministry will be transferred to me and I will give the greenlight," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. A major deal to exploit offshore gas reserves in the eastern Mediterranean has been stuck for almost a year due to the objection of the country's anti-trust authority, which warned the agreement could give Noble and its Israeli partner Delek an effective monopoly. It was also held up by Deri's refusal to overrule the authority.