Noble Energy Announces Strategic Partner For Leviathan
HOUSTON, Dec. 2, 2012
HOUSTON, Dec. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) today
announced that the partners in the Leviathan Project have agreed in principle
on a proposal to sell 30 percent working interest in the offshore Leviathan
licenses to Woodside Energy Ltd. (ASX:WPL). All of the Leviathan partners,
Noble Energy, Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Ratio Oil Exploration,
are participating as sellers to Woodside. Noble Energy will convey a 9.66
percent working interest and will continue as upstream operator with a 30
percent working interest. The transaction is subject to the negotiations and
execution of definitive agreements between the parties, as well as customary
approvals, prior to closing.
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy's Chairman and CEO, commented, "Noble Energy
is extremely pleased to welcome such a substantial and knowledgeable strategic
partner as Woodside. We are confident that their extensive experience in LNG
projects will further unlock value in the world-class Leviathan resource. The
entry of Woodside will bring additional international diversity to the Eastern
Mediterranean area, thus highlighting the global importance of the Levant
Under the proposal, Noble Energy would receive cash payments totaling $464
million, which would be comprised of an initial cash payment of $287 million
payable at closing followed by two contingent payments totaling $177 million.
The first for $64 million would be paid once laws permitting LNG export from
Israel are in force and the second for $113 million when a final investment
decision is made in relation to an LNG development. In addition, Noble Energy
would receive a share of Woodside's annual LNG revenue above certain price
parameters, subject to a $322 million cap over the life of the project. The
company would also be carried for up to $16 million in the drilling of a
Mesozoic oil exploration well on the Leviathan licenses. Including the
potential revenue sharing amounts and drilling carry, the implied price for
Noble Energy's interest being sold is $802 million.
In order to better ensure timely completion of the Leviathan Phase 1 project,
Noble Energy has offered limited temporary financing consideration to the
existing partners in special situations where they have either not timely
secured adequate funding, are at risk of default due to inability to pay their
share of costs, or total project costs exceed a specified level that is above
the project's current projected costs. Should the partners have to access the
special financing, Noble Energy would be compensated through either interest
payments, transfer of the partner's interest or receipt of a share of their
production. These financing considerations do not obligate the Company until
the signing of binding agreements.
Citigroup Global Markets Ltd and HSBC advised Noble Energy on the transaction.
The Leviathan project is located on the Rachel and Amit licenses offshore
Israel in 5,550 feet of water. It has an estimated 17 Tcf of discovered
resources and is currently being appraised.
Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil
and gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in
the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin and Marcellus Shale, in the deepwater Gulf
of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. Noble
Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker
symbol NBL. Further information is available at www.nobleenergyinc.com.
This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the
meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the
Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Words such as "anticipated," "intends,"
"indicates," "suggests," "possibility," "believes," "expects," "intends,"
"will," "should," "may," and similar expressions may be used to identify
forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are not statements of
historical fact and reflect Noble Energy's current views about future events.
They include planned development activities, business strategy and other plans
and objectives for future operations. No assurances can be given that the
forward-looking statements contained in this news release will occur as
projected and actual results may differ materially from those projected.
Forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, estimates and
assumptions that involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause
actual results to differ materially from those projected. These risks include,
without limitation, difficulties or delays in finalizing definitive documents
governing the transaction described in this news release, government
approvals, regulations or other actions, the volatility in commodity prices
for crude oil and natural gas, exploration and development risks, drilling and
operating risks, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves,
environmental risks, competition, the ability of management to execute its
plans to meet its goals and other risks inherent in Noble Energy's business
that are discussed in its most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in other
reports on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission. These reports are
also available from Noble Energy's offices or website
http://www.nobleenergyinc.com. Forward-looking statements are based on the
estimates and opinions of management at the time the statements are made.
Noble Energy does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking
statements should circumstances or management's estimates or opinions change.
SOURCE Noble Energy
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