Avner Surges as Regulators Approve Gas Contracts: Tel Aviv Mover

June 17 (Bloomberg) -- Avner Oil Exploration LLP and Delek Drilling-LP, partners in the Tamar natural gas field, surged after gas contracts with electricity producers were approved with some amendments by regulators.

Avner gained 6.9 percent, the most since Oct. 10, to 2.17 shekels at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv. Delek Drilling advanced 5.6 percent, the most since Oct. 10, to 12.07 shekels. Isramco Negev 2 LP, another partner in the field, rose 4.9 percent to 0.492 shekel. The benchmark TA-25 Index gained 2 percent.

Israel’s Antitrust Authority and the Public Utility Authority-Electricity approved the gas contracts between the partners in the Tamar gas field and Israel Electric Corp. and other private electricity producers with changes, including the terms of the option to increase the gas supply and adjustments to the price mechanism.

“Everybody was worried the regulators wouldn’t approve the long-term contracts,” sais David Kaplan, a Tel Aviv-based analyst at Barclays Plc. “The approvals remove uncertainty and will allow the companies to complete the financing necessary to further develop the Tamar project.”

The partners in Tamar signed a 15-year agreement in March to supply gas to Israel Electric, the state-owned power distributor. Paz Oil Co., a manufacturer of petroleum-based products, said in April a unit signed a $700-million 15-year accord to buy natural gas from the Tamar partnership.

Delek Group Ltd., which has stakes in both Delek Drilling and Avner, advanced 3.7 percent, the most since May 31, to 620 shekels.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at ssolomon22@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Gwen Ackerman at gackerman@bloomberg.net