HOUSTON, May 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) today announced that the parties have agreed to terminate the non-binding memorandum of understanding regarding the sale of interest in the Leviathan licenses, offshore Israel, to Woodside Petroleum. Following termination of the agreement, working interests in the Leviathan Project remain as follows: Noble Energy as operator (39.66 percent), Delek Drilling (22.67 percent), Avner Oil Exploration (22.67 percent), and Ratio Oil Exploration (15 percent).
Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy's Chairman and CEO, commented, "The plans for development of the Leviathan discovery have significantly changed since we began the search for a partner approximately two years ago. Perhaps the most dramatic changes have been associated with the growth in the regional markets. The emergence of these regional markets, which are accessible through pipeline outlet, has pushed the need for LNG into a later phase of development versus our earlier plans. While we have not been able to reach a mutually acceptable agreement with Woodside, we continue to move forward with our partners and the Israel government with plans to develop this world-class asset for the benefit of all stakeholders."
Significant progress has been made on the development of the Leviathan field, following approval of Israel's natural gas export policy, an agreement with Israel's Anti-trust Authority, and receipt of the Development and Production Leases for Leviathan. Noble Energy is targeting to sanction the initial phase of development at Leviathan by the end of 2014, with first production from the field currently planned for late 2017.
The initial development phase is planned to be a 1.6 billion cubic feet per day floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) system, to provide natural gas into Israel and surrounding regional markets. Front-end engineering and design studies are ongoing for the second phase of development at Leviathan, which is anticipated to be a floating, liquefied natural gas (FLNG) production system.
The Leviathan Project is located offshore Israel in approximately 5,550 feet of water. It has an estimated 19 trillion cubic feet of discovered natural gas resources.
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 federal securities law. Words such as "anticipates," "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 estimates of oil and natural gas reserves and resources, estimates of future production, assumptions regarding future oil and natural gas pricing, planned drilling activity, future results of operations, projected cash flow and liquidity, 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, the volatility in commodity prices for crude oil and natural gas, the presence or recoverability of estimated reserves, the ability to replace reserves, environmental risks, drilling and operating risks, exploration and development risks, competition, government regulation or other actions, 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.
The Securities and Exchange Commission requires oil and gas companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose proved reserves that a company has demonstrated by actual production or conclusive formation tests to be economically and legally producible under existing economic and operating conditions. The SEC permits the optional disclosure of probable and possible reserves, however, we have not disclosed the Company's probable and possible reserves in our filings with the SEC. We use certain terms in this news release, such as "discovered natural gas resources," which are by their nature more speculative than estimates of proved, probable and possible reserves and accordingly are subject to substantially greater risk of being actually realized. The SEC guidelines strictly prohibit us from including these estimates in filings with the SEC. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosures and risk factors in our most recent annual report on Form 10-K and in other reports on file with the SEC, available from Noble Energy's offices or website, http://www.nobleenergyinc.com.
SOURCE Noble Energy