Noble sells 3% interest in Tamar field, offshore Israel, for $369 million


HOUSTON -- Noble Energy has signed a definitive agreement to divest a 3% working interest in Tamar field, offshore Israel, to the Harel Group, a leading insurance provider and pension manager in Israel, in partnership with Israel Infrastructure Fund (IIF), Israel's largest infrastructure private equity fund.  

The transaction value of $369 million is based upon a gross pre-tax Tamar valuation of approximately $12 billion and is subject to purchase price adjustments between Jan. 1, 2016, and the closing date. Closing for the transaction is anticipated in the third quarter of 2016, subject to customary terms and conditions, with after-tax proceeds received expected to be approximately $275 million. Under terms of the agreement, Harel and IIF have the option to elect, before closing, to purchase an additional 1% working interest from Noble Energy at the same valuation.

"This transaction reflects the inherent value of our producing Tamar asset, which reliably fuels more than half of Israel's electricity generation today,” Gary W. Willingham, Noble Energy’s executive V.P. of operations, said. “It also highlights the potential of our other undeveloped Levant basin discoveries, which share similar reservoir and well deliverability characteristics and are poised to bring needed energy to a region which is fundamentally short natural gas."                                                                                                                                                                      
Noble Energy and partners are planning to drill and complete an additional development well at Tamar field in response to the continued increasing demand and outlook for natural gas usage within Israel, as Israel displaces coal for clean-burning natural gas. Drilling is anticipated to commence in the fourth quarter of 2016. The additional producing well will further enhance redundancy while meeting maximum deliverability for extended peak demand periods.

Prior to the announced working interest sale, Noble Energy operated Tamar field with a 36% working interest. The company is carrying out an 11% sell-down of its interest in Tamar field in accordance with Israel's approved Natural Gas Regulatory Framework. Noble Energy anticipates the sale of the remaining 7–8% working interest over the next 36 months. Following completion of this sell-down process, Noble Energy will retain a 25% working interest and operatorship in Tamar field, which has recoverable gross mean natural gas resources of 10 Tcf.

Tamar field sold 252 MMcfd, net, of natural gas and generated net pre-tax income of $318 million for Noble Energy in 2015.  

Noble Energy also operates Leviathan field, offshore Israel, with a 39.66% working interest and Aphrodite field, offshore Cyprus, with a 35% working interest. Leviathan field has an estimated 22 Tcf of recoverable gross natural gas resources, while Aphrodite holds an estimated 4 Tcf of recoverable gross natural gas resources.

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