The Israeli Energy Ministry this week has recommended to the Petroleum Commissioner to approve US major Chevron’s $5bn takeover of Noble Energy (MEES, 24 July). The deal, announced in July, amounts to $13bn when taking into consideration Noble’s debt, and will see Chevron expand its East Mediterranean footprint by taking operatorship of Israel’s two producing gas fields, the 11tcf Tamar and 23tcf Leviathan as well as two non-operated blocks offshore Egypt.

The deal has also received a ringing endorsement from Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz. “When an American company of this huge size and scope with immense resources becomes involved in the Israeli market, the possibility of promoting the Israeli energy sector becomes unlimited,” he says. Noble’s board will meet next week to vote on the deal. US hedge fund Elliott Management has bought an undisclosed amount of Noble shares and aims to scupper the deal which it says undervalue Noble’s Israeli assets (MEES, 11 September). (CONTINUED - 158 WORDS)