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Woodside buys into Israel's Leviathan gas

Dec. 3, 2012 at 5:09 AM

HAIFA, Israel, Dec. 3 (UPI) -- Australia's Woodside Petroleum is acquiring 30 percent of Israel's Leviathan off-shore natural gas field, one of the world's largest, an official said.

The Leviathan field is "one of the biggest discoveries worldwide," said Peter Coleman, chief executive officer of Woodside, Australia's largest oil and gas company.

"We have a proven track record of safe reliable operations in Australia and being selected as the Leviathan joint venture's preferred partner in a competitive bidding process demonstrates the value of our LNG [liquefied natural gas] development capabilities," Coleman said on the company's website.

"Acquiring an interest in these permits is an exciting opportunity to grow our portfolio in the emerging Eastern Mediterranean basin, and we look forward to finalizing the agreement."

Leviathan, discovered in 2010 , is in the Mediterranean Sea about 130 kilometers (80.7 miles) west of Haifa.

It is estimated to contain up to 17 trillion cubic feet of usable natural gas, making it one of the largest fields in the world. Production for the domestic market is slated in 2016, the site said.

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