US company ATP agrees to buy Myra, Sarah stakes

Houston-based ATP is a small company but has a strong reputation for drilling deepwater wells.

By AMIRAM BARKAT / GLOBES
December 26, 2010 23:31
1 minute read.
THE ICDP rig at work

THE ICDP rig Dead Sea 311. (photo credit: Sasson Tiram)

ATP Oil & Gas Corporation has reached an initial agreement to acquire 30 percent of the offshore Myra and Sarah licenses and 50% of the Daniel license and Shimshon permit, people familiar with the matter told Globes Sunday.

No deal will be signed until after the Sheshinski Committee releases its final recommendations on gas and oil and gas royalties and taxes, they said.

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“They are very worried about the tax levels proposed by the committee,” an Israeli source said. “As far as they are concerned, if the government take remains unchanged, the feasibility of projects in Israel will be marginal.”

ATP executives outlined their position during two meetings with Petroleum Supervisor Ya’acov Mimran. They also asked to appear before the Sheshinski Committee’s public hearing ahead of the publication of its final recommendations.

The decision to become a partner in the Myra and Sarah is based on analysis of the 3-D seismic surveys of the licenses, whose results have not yet been published.

In October, Yuli Ofer acquired 50% of Israel Petroleum Company’s holding in Myra and Sarah and committed to investing $28 million into the two exploratory wells planned for them in late 2011.

Each well will cost $80m. to drill. If they are successful, verification wells will be drilled at an additional cost of $60m. each.

Houston-based ATP is a small company but has a strong reputation for drilling deepwater wells. It is involved in almost 20 wells in the Gulf of Mexico and other


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