Tamar Gas Gives Noble East Med Boost

Increased sales volumes from Israel's 800mn cfd Tamar gas field has provided Houston-based Noble Energy with some good news after posting a loss of $228mn in the first quarter of this year.

Noble’s main non-US operations are in the Eastern Mediterranean, where it has recently farmed-down its stake in Cyprus’ 5 tcf Aphrodite and sold the 3 tcf Israeli Karish and Tanin fields to its main Israeli partner Delek, all for $238mn.

But the cash-strapped US firm is eyeing reducing its stake in Israel’s only currently producing field, the 10 tcf Tamar, as well as the giant 22 tcf Leviathan as it looks to fund its share of the $5-6bn needed to develop the latter field (MEES, 15 April).

Noble currently holds 36% of Tamar but, as part of an anti-trust settlement, it has been told by the Israeli authorities to reduce this to 25% within the next five years. It is unclear how much of a hurry Noble is in to sell the Tamar stake: an immediate sale would effectively mean giving up five-years-worth of extra gas sales for a lump sum. (CONTINUED - 684 WORDS)