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US operator Noble Energy has begun testing the waters in its search for buyers for 11% of Israel’s 10 tcf Tamar gas field, which currently produces 800mn cfd, all of Israel’s gas output. The firm currently has 36% but, as part of an anti-trust settlement, has been told by the Israeli authorities to reduce this to 25% within the next five years.
Israeli financial dailies Calcalist and Marker say Noble is in talks with local firms Clal Insurance, Harel Insurance and Finance and Menora Mivtachim.
Noble is short on funds and last month was in talks with lenders to fund its share of the $5-6bn needed for the development of Israel’s largest offshore gas field, 22 tcf Leviathan (MEES, 25 March). Here first gas is now unlikely before next decade after a recent Supreme Court ruling (MEES, 1 April). (CONTINUED - 293 WORDS)