Woodside mulls abandoning Leviathan - report

"Brisbane Times": Woodside is considering other options.

Has Australian energy giant Woodside Petroleum Ltd. (ASX: WPL) given up on the Leviathan deal? The "Brisbane Times" says yes. In a video report today, sources say that the company has begun to think seriously about other options, after the difficulties in closing the acquisition of 25% of the rights in the Leviathan field, offshore from Israel, for $2.71 billion.

One of the options mentioned by the "Brisbane Times" is returning capital to shareholders; in other words, a dividend. Alternatively, Woodside is considering the acquisition of Papua New Guinea's Oil Search Ltd. (ASX: OSH), as part of Woodside Peter Coleman's goal of buying assets. According to the "Brisbane Times", Oil Search's advantages is that it has productive discoveries, in contrast to Leviathan, which has not yet been developed, and it is closer to Woodside's target markets in Asia.

Last week, "Globes" revealed animosity between Coleman and Yitzhak Tshuva, controlling shareholder in Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG), which has a large stake in Leviathan. Coleman told Tshuva at a meeting in Jerusalem: "Keep your hands out of my pockets". There are also tensions between Coleman and Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) chairman and CEO Charles Davidson, who last week said that the partners in Leviathan were moving forward to develop the gas field even without Woodside.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on May 4, 2014

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2014

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