Apache Considers Entering Israeli Oil and Gas Sector

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Sources inform ”Globes” that Apache Corporation is considering entering Israel’s oil and gas exploration sector. Company executives recently met government officials to discuss possible operations. Apache is studying the Israeli market, including the new tax regime.

Energy exploration industry sources who have been in contact with Apache believe that it will make a final decision in early 2012, when the final results of the Leviathan 1 exploratory well to the structure’s deep oil-bearing strata will be announced. An oil discovery could strongly influence Apache’s decision. Apache might also be interested in the gas export project for Leviathan, which could cost $10 billion to create – a project suitable for a company of Apache’s size.

Apache has a market cap of $45 billion, compared with $17 billion for Tamar and Leviathan partner Noble Energy Inc. .

Apache’s possible entry to Israel’s energy exploration market is of great interest to the government. The company, which has been included in the S&P 500 Index since 1997, is in a different league from other US energy companies that are already operating in Israel, such as Noble Energy. Companies of Apache’s size have avoided the Israeli energy market until now, partly because of its small size and newness, and partly to avoid damaging interests in the Arab world. Apache has been operating in Egypt since 1996, its only Arab operations.

The sources said that Apache’s representatives discussed natural gas exports from Tamar and Leviathan, as well as the floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) terminal and its suitability for the Israeli market. Considered the latest word in the industry, Israeli officials believe that an FLNG may be better than an onshore LNG terminal, because of Israel’s shortage of coastal land, opposition to terminals by local residents, and security threats. The Mediterranean Sea, which is considered relatively calm, is especially suited for an FLNG.

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Posted on August 4, 2011, in Asia, Israel, Natural Gas and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off.

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