The Tel-Aviv based Delek Group is looking to increase its stake in Cyprus’ sole offshore natural gas discovery, the 5 tcf Aphrodite field on Block 12. This comes after the Israeli government ordered the firm to sell off its stake in the country’s only producing field, 10 tcf Tamar, and two smaller fields as part of an antitrust deal that will see it keep its stakes in the country’s giant 22 tcf Leviathan discovery. As part of the deal Delek and its partner offshore Israel and Cyprus, Houston-based Noble Energy, will be forced to sell off the Karish and Tanin fields, which hold an estimated combined 3 tcf, while Delek will sell its Tamar stakes and Noble will divest 11% in the same field.

On 1 June Delek announced it “has begun preliminary negotiations with Noble Energy for the acquisition of 19.9% of its share in Block 12 in Cyprus.” This will cost the Israeli firm “approximately $155mn,” a figure that values Aphrodite at $779mn. Noble currently has 70% of Aphrodite and is operator. Delek has 30% split equally between its Delek Drilling and Avner Oil subsidiaries. So post-deal the split would be 50.1/49.9% in favor of Noble. (CONTINUED - 964 WORDS)