Gazprom in talks to buy into Isramco gas licenses

The Russian giant is not deterred by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's support for the Sheshinski committee recommendations.

At least one major international natural gas company is apparently undeterred by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's statement that he will support the Sheshinski committee recommendations and the warnings by Israeli oil and gas exploration companies and investors that foreign energy companies will abandon the country. Sources inform ''Globes'' that Russia's OAO Gazprom (Nasdaq: OZGPY; LSE: OGZD; DAX: GAZ; RTS: GAZP) is in talks with Isramco Ltd. (Nasdaq: ISRL; TASE: ISRA.L) to acquire part of the rights in its gas licenses. Isramco owns 28.7% of the Tamar gas field, which is due to begin gas deliveries to Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) (TASE: ELEC.B22) in the first half of 2013.

Isramco also owns rights in the Shimshon and Daniel offshore licenses. Analysis of the 3D seismic survey of Shimshon points to 1.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas with a 15% chance of geological success. The results of the seismic survey of the Daniel license have not yet been published.

Isramco CEO Yossi Levy told "Globes", "According to the markets, Gazprom is in talks with all the companies. We neither confirm nor deny rumors."

In the past, the Russian media has reported that Gazprom was considering acquiring stakes in Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP's (TASE:RATI.L) Gal licenses, but nothing ever came of it.

Isramco's share price fell 6.2% by mid-afternoon on the TASE today to NIS 0.394, giving a market cap of NIS 4.76 billion.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on January 19, 2011

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2011

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