An Australian energy firm is in talks for a $2.5 billion deal to purchase a one-fourth stake in Israel’s newest offshore natural gas field.

Woodside Petroleum has signed a preliminary agreement to that end, which would make them a major player at the Leviathan gas field.


Woodside in a leader in the liquefied gas market, and a deal with Leviathan would help Israel on its track to become a world exporter of gas energy. The field holds a reported 19 trillion cubic feet of gas.

The Knesset passed a motion just last year to set aside 40 percent of its natural gas for export purposes.

US firm Nobel Energy currently maintains a 30 percent stake in Leviathan, allowing it to remain the lead holder should Woodside take 25 percent. The quarter stake will be made up by shares coming from Israel firms Delek Drilling Group, Avner Oil Exploration an Ratio Oil Exploration.

“Woodside is one of the leading companies in the world in the… development of LNG facilities. The company brings with it rich experience… and will be a significant boost for the Leviathan partnership,” Delek Drilling and Avner said in a statement.