November 29, 2018 / 9:52 AM / 15 days ago

Israeli energy firm Delek boosted by Tamar gas sales

JERUSALEM, Nov 29 (Reuters) - Israeli energy conglomerate Delek Group said on Thursday that third-quarter profit more than doubled, boosted by record sales at its main natural gas field.

Delek reported quarterly profit of 323 million shekels ($87 million), up from 151 million shekels a year earlier, which excluded the sale of part of its stake in the Tamar offshore gas field.

Last year subsidiary Delek Drilling recorded a one-time profit of $567 million from the sale of a 9.25 percent stake in the Tamar field, Israel’s main natural gas source.

Including that one-off gain, Delek’s profit in the third quarter of 2017 was 1.02 billion shekels.

Delek said it hopes to sell its remaining 22 percent stake in Tamar next year. It is looking to spin off the shares on a foreign market.

Revenue rose to 2.3 billion shekels from 1.8 billion, lifted by higher sales at Tamar and improved prices and volumes at its North Sea unit Ithaca Energy.

Tamar’s gas sales hit a new quarterly record of 2.8 billion cubic metres (bcm) in the third quarter.

The company also has a large share in the nearby Leviathan gas field. It said the Leviathan project is 70 percent complete and remains on schedule for the first gas sales to begin by the end of 2019.

Delek and partner Noble Energy agreed in September to buy a stake in a subsea pipeline that will facilitate a $15 billion gas supply deal with Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings.

Delek said it would pay a dividend of 150 million shekels, or 12.5 shekels a share, bringing 2018’s total dividend distribution to 490 million shekels. ($1 = 3.7149 shekels) (Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Editing by Steven Scheer and David Goodman)

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