Seeking Alpha

Woodside scraps deal to buy 25% stake in Israeli gas field

  • Woodside Petroleum (WOPEF) has dropped an agreement to acquire a 25% stake in the massive Leviathan natural-gas field off the coast of Israel for up to $2.7B.
  • One reason for the withdrawal was a dispute over exports: the existing owners, which include Noble Energy (NBL), mainly want to pipe the gas to countries close to Israel such as Jordan and Turkey, whereas Woodside would prefer to use its LNG expertise to sell to more distant markets.
  • Another problem was a tax dispute with the Israeli government.
  • In addition to Noble, Leviathan's owners are Delek Group (DGRLY) and Ratio Oil (RTEXF).
  • The collapse of the deal raises questions about Woodside's growth prospects, with speculation rising that it might now look at acquisitions.
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