Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), which holds a 32.5% stake in the rights to the Tamar gas field is in "non-binding" and non-exclusive" talks to sell a 7.5% stake of Tamar and the Dalit field to Tamar Petroleum (TASE: TMRP), controlled by Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L). Tamar Petroleum notified the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) this morning about the talks.
Noble Energy, the operator of the Tamar gas field, is required to reduce its stake in Tamar to 25% by 2021 as part of the government's outline agreement on enhanced competition in Israel's natural gas production sector.
Tamar Petroleum reported that if the deal is completed (estimates are that it will be for more than $800 million) it will be partly for cash and partly for shares. The cash part will be financed through a bond offering by Tamar Petroleum, without affecting the rating of its Series A bonds and the current debt ratio coverage of its bond.
Tamar Petroleum was set up in July by Delek Drilling as a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) when it raised $850 million on the TASE in bonds and an IPO and acquired 9.25% of Tamar, leaving Delek Drilling with a further 22% in the gas field. Under the gas outline agreement Delek Drilling must sell its entire stake in Tamar by 2021.
The fact that Noble Energy is in talks with Tamar Petroleum suggests that it has been unable to find a buyer outside of Israel.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 4, 2017
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