Noble Energy, Inc. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to divest a 7.5% working interest in the Tamar field, offshore Israel, to Tamar Petroleum Ltd. for cash proceeds of approximately US$560 million and 38.5 million shares of Tamar Petroleum. Based upon today's closing price of Tamar Petroleum, total consideration of this transaction is approximately US$800 million. This follows an initial divestment of 3.5% of the Tamar field in mid-2016. Combined proceeds from both transactions total nearly US$1.25 billion, including almost US$1 billion in cash.
David L. Stover, Noble Energy's Chairman, President and CEO, commented, "This transaction supports our commitment to sell down our Tamar interest in accordance with the government of Israel's Natural Gas Regulatory Framework. It highlights the strong value of our world-class Levant Basin assets, while providing additional upside exposure from our equity interest in Tamar Petroleum. These assets are some of the world's most attractive energy investment opportunities, with margins competitive to the best U.S. onshore oil plays and a stable, long-term cash flow profile. Our team is doing an excellent job operating Tamar reliably at capacity while developing Leviathan which is on track to deliver first gas sales by the end of 2019."
The effective date of the transaction is January 1, 2018. Closing of the transaction is expected by the end of the first quarter of 2018, subject to Tamar Petroleum's debt financing and customary approvals, terms and conditions.
Cash proceeds from the transaction will be utilised to support the capital investment in the Company's Leviathan development. Noble Energy expects to incur capital gains tax of approximately 23%, paid upon the receipt of cash consideration at closing and as shares are divested. The Company intends to divest shares held in Tamar Petroleum over the next several years. As a shareholder of Tamar Petroleum, Noble Energy anticipates receiving dividend income.
Noble Energy operates the Tamar field with a 32.5% working interest. Following closing of the transaction, the Company will retain a 25% working interest and will remain the operator. The divested working interest represents approximately 62 million ft3/d of 2017 production and proved reserves of approximately 500 billion ft3 equivalent as of year-end 2017.
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