Sources inform "Globes" that the huge deal whereby Australia's Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (ASX: WPL) is to buy a major stake in the Leviathan gas field offshore from Israel will be signed next week. The deal is expected to be signed during a visit by senior managers of Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG), Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) and Noble Energy to Australia. The group is due to leave Israel Saturday night.
According to information that has reached "Globes", the deal will be worth $3 billion, valuing the Leviathan field at over $9 billion. The partners in Leviathan declined to comment to this information or to provide any details of the deal and its value.
Under the original terms of the deal agreed in December, Woodside was to have paid just $2.5 billion.
One of the matters still delaying the final signing of the deal is the question of taxation. There remains a gap between the position of the Israel Tax Authority, which seeks to collect capital gains tax on the deal as soon as it is signed, and the position of the Leviathan partners, which seek a deferment of the tax payment, on the grounds that the entire consideration for the sale of the rights will be invested in developing the reserve.
There will apparently have to be further discussions on the subject between the Leviathan partners and Woodside, and the Tax Authority.
A number of other matters remain open, but the deal should be signed next week.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 31, 2014
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