December 4, 2017 / 7:30 AM / a year ago

Tamar Petroleum in talks to buy part of Noble stake in gas field

TEL AVIV, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Israel's Tamar Petroleum said on Monday it is in talks to buy a 7.5 percent stake in the Tamar natural gas reserve and the Dalit field from Noble Energy for cash and equity.

The cash portion would be financed by a public bond offering without harming the company's credit rating, Tamar Petroleum said in a statement to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The deal, which The Marker financial newspaper said could be worth as much as $900 million, would be subject to regulatory approvals.

Texas-based Noble owns 32.5 percent of the Tamar field, Israel's primary supply of natural gas, and must reduce its holding to 25 percent by 2021 under government plans to open the market to competition.

Tamar Petroleum was created in July when Israel's Delek Drilling spun off a 9.25 percent stake in the Tamar reserve into a new company.

Delek Drilling still holds 22 percent of the Tamar reserve, which it must also sell by 2021. (Reporting by Tova Cohen; Editing by Ari Rabinovitch)

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