JERUSALEM, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Israeli energy conglomerate Delek Group reported lower quarterly profit on Thursday, hurt by a loss from exploration and production (E&P) business in the North Sea at its Ithaca Energy unit.
Delek said it earned 170 million shekels ($47 million) in the second quarter, compared with 180 million a year earlier when a gain from the purchase of Ithaca boosted profits.
Ithaca, wholly owned by Delek, contributed a 32 million shekel loss to Delek’s bottom line versus a 47 million shekel profit a year earlier. The decline was caused by a nearly one-month operational standstill to connect a floating production facility in June.
Revenue rose to 2.1 billion shekels from 1.6 billion, boosted by higher sales at its Delek Israel unit but partly offset by the sale of 9.25 percent of its holdings in the Tamar natural gas field off Israel’s Mediterranean coast.
Tamar’s gas sales hit a new quarterly record of 2.6 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the second quarter.
In addition to a stake in Tamar, Delek, through a subsidiary, has a major share in the nearby Leviathan gas field.
Delek said the Leviathan project is 60 percent complete and remains on schedule for the first gas sales to begin by the end of 2019.
The company, with partner Noble Energy, is trying to acquire the rights to an East Mediterranean Gas-owned subsea pipeline to carry gas between Israel and Egypt.
Delek and Noble have signed a $15 billion gas supply deal with Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings.
“We look forward to acquiring rights to the EMG pipeline in the near term, which would allow the implementation of the gas export agreement with Egypt covering volumes of up to 64 bcm,” Delek Chief Executive Asaf Bartfeld said.
Delek said it would pay a dividend of 120 million shekels, the same as the first quarter.
$1 = 3.6119 shekels Reporting by Steven Scheer; Editing by Dale Hudson