delek gas station 224.88.
(photo credit: Courtesy.)
The Antitrust Authority on Tuesday announced it is considering declaring Delek
Group Ltd.’s units a monopoly in natural- gas exploration. The announcement
follows a review of several months into the operations of Delek Group’s holding
company Delek Investments and Properties Ltd. units Avner Oil and Gas LP and
Delek Drilling LP and their partner Noble Energy Inc. unit Noble Energy
Avner and Delek Drilling are partners in the Ashkelon
and Noa reserves, which constitute Yam Tethys, the sole Israeli supplier of
natural gas. They are also partners in the Tamar, Dalit, Leviathan and
The Antitrust Authority notified the Tamar and Dalit
partners – Noble Energy, Delek Drilling, Avner, Isramco Ltd. and Alon
Natural Gas Exploration Ltd. – that it was considering declaring them a natural-
gas-supply monopoly when Tamar comes on line in the second half of
Beginning in 2013, Tamar and Dalit are due to supply more than half
of Israel’s natural- gas needs, and the partners are currently in talks on
long-term gas-supply contracts from the reservoirs.
Authority also announced that it was considering declaring Leviathan partners
Noble Energy, Delek Drilling, Avner and Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP a cartel
because of their Ratio Yam provisional permit, which includes the Leviathan gas
reservoir. Ratio was the sole owner of the Ratio Yam provisional permit
until 2007, when Noble Energy, Delek Drilling and Avner bought into it even as
they owned other oil and gas assets. These holdings allegedly constitute
a cartel without approval from the Antitrust Authority.
Authority has summoned the companies to a hearing. Several weeks ago, the
Antitrust Authority notified several oil and gas exploration companies,
including Noble Energy, Delek Group, Modiin Energy LP and Israel Land
Development Company Energy Ltd., that several pending arrangements between them
were liable to be considered as restraint of trade, which would require approval
by the Antitrust Authority.
Delek Group’s share price fell 7.6 percent by
mid-afternoon to NIS 551.80, Avner’s fell 5.2% to NIS 1.70, Delek Drilling’s
fell 5.4% to NIS 9.60, Isramco’s fell 5% to NIS 0.358, and Ratio’s fell 6.7% to