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Noble, Arab Potash said to sign Israel gas accord today

BY SHOSHANNA SOLOMON and INDIRA A.R. LAKSHMANAN

TEL AVIV, Israel (Bloomberg) -- Noble Energy Inc., a partner in Israel’s Tamar natural-gas field, and Jordan’s Arab Potash Co. plan to sign an export agreement today, three people familiar with the matter said.

The signing would mark Israel’s second gas export deal in the region. Jordan is seeking to secure its energy supply after repeated disruptions to imports of Egyptian fuel as a result of pipeline bombings in Sinai. The three people spoke on condition of anonymity because the matter is private. The U.S. State Department helped mediate the talks, according to one of the people.

The 2010 discovery of the offshore Leviathan field, coming after the nearby Tamar find, proved a bonanza for Israel, which expects the gas to meet its needs for a quarter of a century, while also enabling exports. Israel, seeking to tap recent gas finds for export, plans to build a pipeline to supply its eastern neighbor, two people with knowledge of the matter said in January.

Israel’s Delek Group Ltd., via its units Delek Drilling LP and Avner Oil Exploration LLP, is a partner in Tamar together with Houston, Texas-based Noble Energy. Isramco Negev 2 LP is also a partner.

Israel, which itself imported Egyptian gas until bombings cut deliveries, reached its first export agreement in January -- a 20-year deal to supply a planned Palestinian power station. Noble and its partners at Leviathan, the larger of the two fields, said they’ll receive about $1.2 billion to send gas to the plant to be built in the northern West Bank city of Jenin.

A spokeswoman for Noble Energy in Israel, who could not be named because of company policy, had no comment on the matter when contacted by phone today. A spokesman for Arab Potash also declined to comment.

02/19/2014

 

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