HOUSTON – Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) and its partners have agreed in principle to sell a 30% stake in the Leviathan licenses offshore Israel to Woodside Energy (ASX:WPL).
All the partners – Noble, Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration, and Ratio Oil Exploration – will transfer part of their interests. Woodside will operate any LNG development of the field and Noble will remain as upstream operator with 30%.
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s chairman and CEO, said of Woodside: “We are confident that their extensive experience in LNG projects will further unlock value in the world-class Leviathan resource. The entry of Woodside will bring additional international diversity to the Eastern Mediterranean area, thus highlighting the global importance of the Levant basin.”
Implied price of the stake that Noble is selling is $802 million. This includes a carry for up to $16 million in drilling of a Mesozoic (deep) oil exploration well on the licenses in late 2013.
The Leviathan project extends over the 349/Rachel and 350/Amit licenses in 5,550 ft (1,691 m) of water. It contains an estimated 17 tcf of discovered gas resources and is currently undergoing further appraisal drilling, with a view to supply first gas to Israel’s domestic sector in 2016.