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Woodside confirms interest in Leviathan

Oct. 23, 2012 at 5:42 AM

JERUSALEM, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- Australia's Woodside Petroleum said Tuesday it was in the early phases of a competitive bidding process for a stake in Israel's offshore Leviathan gas field.

Delek Group, a company working in the offshore Israeli natural gas sector, said Monday that it received a proposal from Woodside for a stake in the Leviathan license.

Woodside confirmed Tuesday it made a bid for two licenses in the area.

"Woodside advises that it is in an early phase of a competitive bidding process with the license holders," the company stated. "Any speculation about price and commercial terms is premature."

Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported Monday that Woodside Chief Executive Officer Peter Coleman met with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to discuss terms of the acquisition. The newspaper cited "unconfirmed reports" that said Woodside would pay about $7 billion for a 30 percent stake in the field.

Delek in March said it may need more than $10 billion in export infrastructure for the natural gas field. It, along with U.S. company Noble Energy, has discovered enough gas in the Tamar and Leviathan fields to last the country 150 years.

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