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Italy’s Edison to operate Israeli Ratio’s Neta and Roy licenses

Italy’s Edison International will own 20% of the two offshore licenses. The deal challenges Noble Energy’s hegemony in the Israeli gas exploration market.


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Logo-top/ By Kobi Yeshayahou/

Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) today notified the TASE that it has signed farmout and joint operating agreements with Italy’s Edison International SpA (BIT: EDN) for the Neta and Roy offshore exploration licenses. Under the agreements, Edison will be the operator of the two licenses. Ratio will own 70% of Neta and Roy, Edison will own 20%, and Israel Opportunity Energy Resources LP (TASE: ISOP.L) will own 10%.

Edison, a subsidiary of France’s national energy corporation EDF SA (Euronext: EDF), is a well operator on a par with Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), which until now has dominated the Israeli drilling market. Following a string of failures and dry holes by new players in the oil and gas exploration industry, Neta and Roy are the last big hopes of creating real competition against the dominance of Noble Energy and Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG). The two licenses are in the area of the former Gal prospect, located southwest of the Rachel and Amit licenses, where the Leviathan discovery was made.
Neta and Roy are estimated to have at least 3 trillion cubic feet (TCF) of natural gas, according to information previously reported by “Globes”, but the licensees deny this. Other estimates cite much larger quantities of gas at the two licenses.
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