TEL AVIV, Israel, March 7 (UPI) -- Talks with Australia's Woodside Petroleum for rights to the offshore Leviathan natural gas field are ongoing, Israeli energy company Delek Group said.
Last week, Bloomberg News reported that Woodside, the No. 2 oil and gas producer in Australia, would pay more than $2 billion for a 30 percent stake in the Leviathan natural gas field from partners Delek, Noble energy and Avner Oil Exploration.
Delek said, however, that a formal deal was still in the works.
"The negotiation between the Leviathan partners and Woodside toward signing a binding agreement is ongoing," the company said. "Should a significant development in relation to the above-mentioned negotiations take place, the partnerships will publish an immediate report."
By Woodside's estimates, the Leviathan field contains around 17 trillion cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, making it among the largest recent finds.
Under an agreement announced last year, Woodside would serve as the operator of any developments for liquefied natural gas from the field. Consortium partner Noble Energy expects initial production to target the Israeli market by 2016.