Woodside delays signing of Leviathan field deal

Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has delayed signing a landmark agreement to take up to a $2.7 billion stake in Israel's Leviathan gas field, Reuters reported, but the company said it was in talks to overcome the remaining issues.

Woodside had tentatively agreed in February to take a 25% stake in the project, which is owned by Noble Energy, and Avner Oil Exploration, Delek Drilling, and Ratio Oil Exploration. The deal was first announced in December 2012, but the sides held off on finalizing it until Israeli regulations on exports and taxation became clear.

The agreement was supposed to be signed on March 27; however, Woodside apparently elected to delay signing the agreement until it further discusses the Israeli government's plans for taxing export volumes. While Reuters said that Woodside declined to comment on the hurdles to the agreement, analysts have commented that there seems to be goodwill among all parties to make it happen.


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