Leviathan Partners, British Gas, Almost There

YERUSHALAYIM -

Intensive efforts to reach a deal between the Leviathan natural gas field partners and British Gas (BG) are expected to culminate with a signing in a few weeks, Globes said on Sunday.

Negotiations follow a letter of intent of June 2014, calling Leviathan to supply 105 bcm of gas to BG’s gas liquefaction facility in Idku, Egypt over 15 years. The value of the huge deal, involving the export of one sixth of the Leviathan gas reserves, was estimated at $30 billion.

Finalization of the deal had been held up by the regulatory muddle in Israel, but now that the government has authorized a compromise, the two sides are racing to head off acquisition of BG by Shell Oil, which could derail the agreement.

Shell Oil reportedly plans to focus on development of energy resources elsewhere in the world, such as Brazil, Australia, North America, East and West Africa, and the North Sea. At last report, Israel and Egypt weren’t on the list.

Leviathan and BG have about a month to clinch the deal before Shell takes over, on January 27, when, the BG board of directors is expected to vote in favor of the Shell acquisition.