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Report: Woodside withholds $696 million Leviathan payment

“The Australian”: Woodside was expecting at least half of the gas to be available for the more lucrative export market.


“The Australian” reports that Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (ASX: WPL) is holding back an A$765 million (US $696 million) initial payment for 30% of the rights to the Leviathan project, two weeks after the Israeli government decided to keep a larger than expected amount of gas for domestic consumption. It adds that Woodside would not comment on why it still had not made the initial payment.
“The Australian” says that Woodside was understood to be expecting at least half of the gas to be available for the more lucrative export market. However, in June, the Israeli cabinet last month approved exporting 40% of natural gas and setting aside the remaining 60% for domestic needs for 25 years.
Since Woodside agreed to acquire the Leviathan stake from Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG), and Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) for $1.4 billion in December 2012, the Australian dollar has fallen over 12% against the US dollar. “The Australian” cites analysts as saying that Woodside might have to go back over the numbers to see if the joint venture project is still viable.

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