Israel’s Delek Drilling is interested in divesting itself of the company’s share in Israel’s Tamar offshore gas field. Israel’s business daily Globes reports that Delek Drilling has spoken with two different groups about selling its 22% stake in the fields for as much as $1.1 billion. This would give the Tamar offshore gas field a $5 billion value.
Delek Drilling is controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group Ltd. The company is required to sell out its share by the end of 2021 as part of an agreement made with Israeli authorities since the company also holds a 45.34% stake in the Leviathan gas field. The Tamar Gas Field is a natural gas pocket located in the Mediterranean and is one of Israel’s natural gas fields in that sea. It is situated just east of the Leviathan gas field.
In July 2017, Delek Drilling sold 9.25% of its holdings in Tamar to a new company, Tamar Petroleum, which later also purchased a share of Noble Energy’s holdings in the reservoir. The partners in the Tamar project are Delek Drilling (22%), Noble Energy (25%), Isramco (28.75%), Tamar Petroleum (16.75%), Dor Gas (4%) and Everest (3.5%). Under the Gas Framework, Delek Drilling is obliged to sell all of its holdings in Tamar by the end of 2021.
According to Delek, the transmission of natural gas from the Tamar reservoir began 8 years ago at the end of March 2013. The Tamar-1 well was the first exploration well drilled in very deep waters (approx. 1,600 meters below sea level) in Israel’s exclusive economic zone, and it was through this well that the Tamar Sands system was discovered.
According to the last reserves report by NSAI (as of the end of 2019, dated January 2020), the volume of proved and probable reserves in the Tamar lease, after production of more than 61 BCM, is approx. 305 BCM of natural gas and 14 million barrels of condensate.
Globes, however, has pointed out that some claim this news is just a ruse to create interest in such a sale and to let it be known what Delek thinks its shares in the Tamar field are worth. Globes explained that the company has not informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) of any sale talks.
Delek Drilling currently has a market cap of NIS 5.85 billion. At the current exchange rate this is equal to roughly $1.77 billion.