Delek sets in motion Tamar field stake sale

Israeli energy company Delek is set to divest 9.25 percent in Tamar and Dalit fields offshore Israel, to a special purpose company named Tamar Petroleum.

According to the sale plan, Tamar Petroleum will offer securities to the public (equity and debentures) that will be registered for trading on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Tamar Petroleum will use the funds raised from the offering to purchase the rights in the fields that are sold by Delek.

The profits and profit from future sales of all Delek holdings in the fields, are expected to be mainly used by the Delek to distribute profits, and for early repayment of debentures.

Israeli business news website Globes has said that Delek has started offering a $650 million bond on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) today in Tamar Petroleum, and if successful, Tamar Petroleum will then offer shares to the public in two weeks.

The Tamar/Dalit divestment comes as part of the agreement with the Israeli authorities under which Delek needs to sell its entire 31.3 percent stake in Tamar, to increase competition and avoid creation of monopoly in the country’s gas sector.

Apart from Tamar, the only producing gas field in the country, Delek is a partner in the giant Leviathan gas field, also located in the Mediterranean Sea, and operated by the U.S. firm Noble Energy.

As previously reported, Noble Energy, Inc. last year sold a three percent working interest in the Tamar field to Harel Group, an insurance provider and pension manager in Israel, as part of the agreement with the Israeli authorities to reduce its stake in Tamar to 25 percent. The transaction value of $369 million was based upon a gross pre-tax Tamar valuation of approximately $12 billion.

Announcing the sale to Harel in July last year, Noble said it anticipated the sale of the remaining 7 to 8 percent working interest “over the next 36 months.” Following completion of this sell-down process, Noble Energy will retain a 25 percent working interest.

Offshore Energy Today Staff