Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Noble Energy - Clouds Of Uncertainty Dissipating From Key Asset In Israel

This article was first published by Seeking Alpha on June 29, 2015.

By Sarfaraz A. Khan

Summary: Noble Energy has been eyeing development of the giant Leviathan field, located in offshore Israel. Noble Energy, the only U.S. oil producer to invest in Israel, has faced a major regulatory hurdle, but recent decision from the country’s security cabinet has cleared its way. The company is now awaiting final government approval, which will pave the way for binding supply contracts and full scale development.

Noble Energy has been eyeing development of one of the world's biggest offshore gas fields off northern Israel by partnering with Israel's Delek Group, but its plans were stalled by anti-trust regulators on concerns related to monopoly. On Thursday, however, Israel's security cabinet voted in favor of Noble and Delek.

The leading U.S. based energy companies have generally shied from investing in Israel, despite its vast natural gas deposits and the government's efforts to lure foreign oil and gas producers, fearing the country did not have adequate regulatory framework to protect the interest of foreign investors. Noble, however, is an exception. The Houston, Texas - based company is the only U.S. oil producer willing to bet on Israel's resources, but it did not receive the warm welcome it would have expected. The stand-off between Noble and the anti-trust commissioner David Gilo has certainly not helped in improving Israel's image among U.S. oil and gas producers as an investment destination. But the recent decision from the security cabinet could help.

Noble and Delek, however, will be required to reduce their stakes in three …. Read full article at Seeking Alpha