Noble Energy stockholders approve sale to Chevron for $4 b.

The Zalul Environmental Association, an Israeli NGO, has expressed concerns over Chevron's environmental track record, citing incidents in Ecuador, Nigeria and California.

Tamar natural gas rig 521 (photo credit: Albatross)
Tamar natural gas rig 521
(photo credit: Albatross)
Noble Energy stockholders approved the sale of the company to Chevron for $4.2 billion on Friday.
Chevron announced the all-stock acquisition in July. Noble owns multiple gas and oil fields, including the Tamar and Leviathan fields. Since announcing the purchase, originally set at $5b., the price has dropped due to a decline in oil prices.
Noble has taken a hit during the coronavirus pandemic with its stock falling by 66% since the beginning of the year.
Noble shareholders are expected to receive 0.1191 Chevron shares for every share of Noble that they own, approximately 3% of Chevron’s outstanding shares, according to The Marker.
The sale increases Chevron energy reserves by 18%.
Israeli environmental groups expressed concern about the purchase when it was announced in July. Zalul Environmental Association expressed concerns over Chevron’s environmental track record, citing the Ecuador Lago Agrio oil spill and incidents in Nigeria and California.
“Chevron has one of the worst environmental track records on the planet when it comes to oil safety, oil cleanup, respecting local lives and paying judgments against it,” said Yosef Abramowitz, a solar energy pioneer.
Abramowitz also expressed concern that “it looks like the energy minister gave an assurance to Noble and Chevron [that it could] keep a significant monopoly on Israel’s energy market,” saying this was “wrong economically and wrong environmentally.”
 Chevron responded stating that allegations brought against them on the Lago Agrio oil spill were fraudulent and that judgments brought against them were confirmed as unenforceable by courts all around the world and by an international tribunal in The Hague. The oil giant also said environmental claims against them are “unsupported by scientific evidence.”
There is also concern that the purchase will lead to Israeli jobs being outsourced.
“Hopefully, they won’t bring a lot of expats from Chevron,” said Noa Binyamin, co-chairman of the Young Professionals in Energy Israel branch. “Many people here have decided to study and learn the industry from scratch, and if these options are closed to them, they will have to go abroad to find work.”
Some believe the objections of environmental groups do not make sense.
“The argument that Chevron is worse than Noble doesn’t make sense from an environmental point of view, because Leviathan and [other] projects are developed and working, whether they’re owned by Noble or Chevron or any other energy company,” said Amit Mor, CEO of Eco Energy Ltd., and senior lecturer in energy economics and geopolitics.
“From a national perspective it is good for Israel for a major oil company [with deep pockets] to operate in Israel, since the country is one that has major oil and gas projects.”
Some see the entrance of Chevron into the Israeli energy market as an opportunity for Israel to enter further into European and Asian energy markets.
“Delek and Noble Energy did an amazing job opening the Jordanian and Egyptian markets [for Israeli gas],’ Energy Ministry director-general Udi Adiri said.“Now, the challenge is to reach the European market, or even Asian market, as Chevron could do.”
“In that sense, Chevron entering Israel’s market is a game-changer.”
The Media Line and Hagay Hacohen contributed to this report.