Report: Shell Seeking $25B Gas Deal With Israel, Cyprus

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Israeli gas platform is seen in the Mediterranean Sea. (Reuters/Amir Cohen, File)

Energy giant Shell is in talks to purchase $25 billion in natural gas from Israel and Cyprus, a report in Globes said Sunday. The report quoted sources at Bloomberg, who first reported the story last Thursday.

The report said that Shell was seeking to contract with the two countries for 10 billion cubic meters of natural gas annually from Israel’s Leviathan and Cyprus’s Aphrodite gas fields. According to Bloomberg, all three parties involved are seeking to sign a deal by the end of 2018.

This is the second time that Shell has sought to purchase gas from the Leviathan field. The first attempt was in 2016, when the partnership that developed the field – Delek Drilling, Noble Energy, and Ratio Oil Exploration – sought to close a deal with BG Group, which was subsequently acquired by Shell. That deal, though completed, was never consummated, and fell by the wayside in the wake of Israel’s reevaluation of taxes and licensing fees to be imposed on the Leviathan partners.

Development of Leviathan, the biggest infrastructure project in Israeli history, began last year. According to the latest reports by the partnership to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, gas should begin to flow from the field at the end of 2019. Delek Drilling, controlled by Israeli millionaire Yitzchak Tshuva, owns 45.3 percent of the field, while U.S.-based Noble Energy owns 39.7 percent of it. Ratio owns the balance.