Australian energy giant signs $2.5 billion deal for stake in Israel’s Leviathan gas field

( Australian energy giant Woodside Petroleum Ltd. has signed a preliminary $2.5 billion deal to own a 25 percent stake in Israel’s Leviathan offshore natural gas field.

The deal with Woodside—a leader in the liquefied natural gas (LNG) process, which coverts natural gas to liquid form for easier transport—should boost Israel’s prospects of becoming a natural gas exporter.

Last year, Israel lawmakers passed a bill delegating 40 percent of its natural gas for export, while maintaining a 25-year supply for domestic use.

The Leviathan field is estimated to hold up to 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

The U.S.-based firm Nobel Energy will remain the largest stakeholder in the field, with 30 percent. Israeli firms Delek Drilling Group, Avner Oil Exploration, and Ratio Oil Exploration will each sell one-quarter of their stake to Woodside. 

“Woodside is one of the leading companies in the world in the... development of LNG facilities. The company brings with it rich experience... and will be a significant boost for the Leviathan partnership,” Delek Drilling and Avner said in a statement.

Posted on February 7, 2014 .