The Israeli Antitrust Authority ordered Delek and Noble Energy to sell the two gas fields.
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Israeli billionaires Teddy Sagi and Beny Steinmetz plan to bid for the Tanin and Karish natural gas fields that Delek Group Ltd. (TASE:DLEKG), controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, and Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) are selling. Sources inform ”Globes” that Sagi, who lives in the UK, recently approached a European company to serve as the well operator if he acquires the gas fields.
Sagi and Steinmetz are partners in the Pelagic licenses, each owning a 42.5% stake. One of these licenses, Ishai, was a failure in January 2013.
Italy’s Edison SpA (BIT: EDN) is also interested in the Karish and Tanin fields. It already owns 20% of the Neta and Roy licenses. Électricité de France SA (Euronext: EDF) recently acquired Edison. Former Ministry of Finance director general Yarom Ariav represents Edison in Israel.
Karish has an estimated 35 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas and Tanin has an estimated 22 BCM. At the order of Antitrust Authority director general David Gilo, the two gas fields will be sold within months to another energy company in addition to gas from the Leviathan field, for a total quantity of 70 BCM of gas.
This will be enough gas to enable the buyer to compete against Leviathan and Tamar in a gas supply contract with Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE:ELEC.B22) after 2020. The main component of the price that Delek and Noble Energy will ask for the two gas fields will be their $200 million in exploration expenditures in them to date.
Under Delek and Noble Energy’s settlement with the Antitrust Authority, the deadline for the sale of Tanin and Karish is confidential. They also agreed that several restrictions will be placed on the buyer: the gas can only be sold to Israeli customers; the buyer will build the pipeline from the gas fields to the coast; Delek and Noble Energy will keep the rights to condensates found in the two gas fields; and if oil is discovered, Delek and Noble Energy will have up to 17.5% in royalties rights.
The sale of Karish and Tanin can only go ahead after approval by the Restraint of Trade Tribunal. The Tribunal is scheduled to hear Gilo’s motion to approve the settlement and the objections filed by theIsrael Energy Forum and other organizations and individuals, who claim that the settlement does not promote competition and will seriously harm the public.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – www.globes-online.com