For the second time in as many weeks, Noble Energy (NYSE: NBL ) has inked a significant licensing deal to sell natural gas in the Middle East, announcing today a transaction to sell an estimated 66 billion cubic feet of natural gas from its Tamar field for approximately $500 million. The deal is expected to begin in 2016, after Noble completes the necessary pipeline construction at Tamar, and has an initial term of 15 years.
On Feb. 6, Noble said it signed a nonbinding memorandum to license its 25% interest in the Leviathan field to Woodside Petroleum for slightly over $1 billion. Leviathan, like Noble's offshore Tamar field, is located in the Mediterranean.
Today's transaction, which is subject to customary closing and regulatory conditions, is for an initial term of 15 years and calls for Noble to receive at least $6.50 per thousand cubic feet of natural gas, with the opportunity for that to increase based on Brent crude oil prices. Noble's Tamar field deal is with a partnership between Jordan-based Arab Potash and Jordan Bromine, and the natural gas be used by the energy firms for their respective facilities located near the Dead Sea.
Commenting on the latest deal, Noble's senior vice president, Eastern Mediterranean Keith Elliott said, "The execution of this agreement evidences the growing regional opportunities for our natural gas and brings forward value for the Tamar asset." Elliott added that Noble is currently in "additional negotiations" to ink more natural gas deals from the Tamar and Leviathan fields.
Noble is the primary partner in the Tamar field, owning a 36% interest. Tamar, according to Noble, consists of an estimated 10 trillion cubic feet of discovered natural gas.