March 30 (UPI) -- With incomes on the rise, Delek Group, which has a stake in one of Israel's largest gas fields, said it's setting its sights on becoming a global player.
Delek said Thursday its net income for the year was up from $6.9 million in 2015 to $172 million. Operating profit last year was 50 percent from the previous year to $425 million, largely on the back of gains from the exploration and production sector.
President and CEO Asaf Bartfeld said in a statement that last year was a very good year for the company.
"Over the past year, we successfully met most of the goals we had set ourselves for 2016; first and foremost, we reached a final investment decision to develop the Leviathan field," he said.
The Leviathan gas field off the coast of Israel is one of the largest in the world and the partnership behind the development envisions spending about $3.75 billion on the project's first phase, which outlines a production capacity of about 1.2 billion cubic feet per day. The piping of gas to its slated destinations is expected by the end of 2019.
The company in February put more than $520 million on the table to take over rival oil producer Ithaca Energy Inc. Bartfeld at the time said the acquisition would secure his company's position as a leader in the North Sea.
With a footprint established outside the Mediterranean Sea, and with most of its 2016 goals met, the president and CEO said his company would look to solidify its position on the global stage.
"Looking forward, 2017 will be marked by furthering the Group's international presence, by executing on our strategy to focus on the energy sector, with a goal of becoming a key player in global energy markets," he said.