Noble Energy sells Tamar field stake. Plans to use cash for Leviathan

U.S. oil and gas company Noble Energy will sell a 7.5 percent stake in its Tamar field offshore Israel to Tamar Petroleum for $560 million and 38.5 million shares of Tamar Petroleum. Total consideration of this transaction is approximately $800 million.Noble Tamar Delek Israel

The deal follows an initial divestment of 3.5 percent of the Tamar field in mid-2016. Combined proceeds from both transactions total nearly $1.25 billion, including almost $1 billion in cash.

As previously reported, Noble and its partner Delek were tasked by the Israeli authorities to sell down their stakes in Tamar, in order to introduce the healthy competition in the country’s gas market. This was due to the fact that Noble Energy and Delek control the only producing gas field there – Tamar – and the giant Leviathan gas field, which is expected to start producing in late 2019.

Under the deal with the Israeli authorities Noble is to reduce it’s interest to 25% – from 36%, with Delek having to sell its entire interest of 31.25% by late 2021. Delek last year set in motion a divestiture of a 9.25 percent in Tamar and Dalit fields to Tamar Petroleum.

Cash for Leviathan

David L. Stover, Noble Energy’s Chairman, President and CEO, said on Monday: “This transaction supports our commitment to sell down our Tamar interest in accordance with the government of Israel’s Natural Gas Regulatory Framework. It highlights the strong value of our world-class Levant Basin assets, while providing additional upside exposure from our equity interest in Tamar Petroleum. These assets are some of the world’s most attractive energy investment opportunities, with margins competitive to the best U.S. onshore oil plays and a stable, long-term cash flow profile. Our team is doing an excellent job operating Tamar reliably at capacity while developing Leviathan which is on track to deliver first gas sales by the end of 2019.”

The effective date of the transaction is January 1, 2018. Closing of the transaction is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2018, subject to Tamar Petroleum’s debt financing and customary approvals, terms and conditions.

Cash proceeds from the transaction will be utilized to support the capital investment in the company’s Leviathan development in the Mediterranean Sea.

Noble Energy expects to incur capital gains tax of approximately 23 percent, paid upon the receipt of cash consideration at closing and as shares are divested. The company intends to divest shares held in Tamar Petroleum over the next several years. As a shareholder of Tamar Petroleum, Noble Energy anticipates receiving dividend income, Noble said.

Noble Energy operates the Tamar field with a 32.5 percent working interest. Following closing of the transaction, the company will retain a 25 percent working interest and will remain the operator. The divested working interest represents approximately 62 million cubic feet equivalent per day of 2017 production and proved reserves of approximately 500 billion cubic feet equivalent as of year-end 2017.

Tamar Petroleum founded in July 2017 held a 9.25 percent working interest in the Tamar field prior to the announced transaction with Noble. Pro forma for this transaction, Tamar Petroleum will hold a 16.75 percent working interest in the Tamar field.

Offshore Energy Today Staff