Noble Energy hands back Ruth C license

Noble has returned the license to the State due to the regulatory uncertainty prevailing in Israel.

US company Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) has decided to return the Ruth C license to the State of Israel “due to the regulatory uncertainty prevailing in Israel and paying heed to the risks entailed in exploratory operations relating to the license.”

The Ruth C license is located adjacent to the small Dalit gas reservoir, which covers 400 square kilometers and is held by Noble Energy (47.05%) and Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) units Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (TASE: DEDR.L) (27.83%) and Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L) (25.1%).

Noble Energy received the operators’ license for Ruth C in March 2009 but has yet to commence exploratory drilling. Last September, the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources extended the Ruth C license until the end of February 2016.

Despite the license’s extension, Noble has decided to hand its stake to the State. Consequently, Delek’s units have asked the Head of the Fuel and Gas Administration at the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources to extend the timetable for exploration so that a new well operator can be found.

Published by: Globes Online