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Woodside misses Leviathan deadline as talks continue

BY JAMES PATON

PERTH (Bloomberg) -- Woodside Petroleum has missed its target for completing a deal to buy a stake in a natural gas project in Israel, 15 months after signing an initial accord.

Talks are continuing with partners in the Leviathan gas venture, including Noble Energy, and the Israeli government “with a view to resolving the remaining issues,” Perth-based Woodside said in a statement. The companies had planned to complete the agreement by yesterday to purchase the stake for as much as $2.6 billion.

A deal would give Woodside a slice of Israel’s largest gas field as the company’s proposed projects in Australia face delays. The partners, including Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Ratio Oil Exploration, intend to supply the domestic market in Israel as well as neighboring countries, while also exporting LNG, Woodside said in February 2014.

Woodside had earlier agreed to pay Noble and its partners an initial $850 million when the deal is completed. The 25% take it’s seeking to acquire is smaller than the 30% negotiated in the December 2012 deal worth as much as $2.3 billion, though the estimated size of the resource rose to 18.9 Tcf from 17 Tcf.

03/28/2014

 

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