Delek Group’s history is synonymous with Israel’s development of its energy resources and the country’s successful transformation into an energy independent state
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
DELEK’S E&P STORY: UNLOCKING THE EAST MED’S ENERGY POTENTIAL
Delek’s E&P story commenced in 1981 when it began exploring for oil and gas onshore in Israel. These exploration activities were scaled up in 1998, when Mr. Isaac Tshuva acquired control of the company and sourced its partnership with Noble Energy, a well-known Houston-based E&P operator that shared Delek’s belief in the offshore potential of the East Med. In 1999, Delek and Noble discovered the Noa natural gas reservoir located offshore Israel, and in 2000 announced thits Yam Tethys project (e 1.1 TCF, including both Noa and Mari B) natural gas discovery.
From 1999 to 2009, Delek persisted with its offshore exploration activities despite significant challenges. In parallel, with the goal of financing its E&P activities and to minimize risk, the company developed other activities, becoming a diversified conglomerate with holdings in insurance, financial services, automotive and bio-chemical businesses.
In 2009, almost a full decade after its first natural gas find, Delek discovered the 11.2 TCF Tamar field off Israel’s northern coast, the world’s largest gas discovery that year. Together with Noble Energy, Delek embarked on an ambitious development plan. Despite the East Med region’s complex regulatory and political climate, Tamar’s first gas was delivered in a little over four years, in March 2013. It has since produced natural gas with a reliability of over 99%.
From humble beginnings, Delek grew consistently to become a pioneering E&P in the East Med and one of Israel’s largest companies
TRANSFORMING INTO AN E&P PURE PLAY
In 2010, Delek and its partners discovered the the 21.4 TCF Leviathan field in Israeli waters, one of the world’s largest natural gas finds of the decade. This discovery was followed, in 2011, by the discovery of the 4.5 TCF Aphrodite field in Cypriot waters and several additional finds, giving Delek Group a total of 11 natural gas discoveries while confirming the vast hydrocarbon potential of the Levant Basin.
Following these major discoveries, Delek made a strategic decision to become a pure-play E&P company, and therefore to divest all of its non-E&P assets. To date, this process has generated USD 1.3 billion in cash, a sum that the company has redeployed to reduce its leverage and to fund further E&P activities. The sale of Delek’s remaining non-E&P assets, including its 52% ownership of Phoenix Holdings Ltd., an insurer, and its 50% holding in IDE Technologies, a provider of water treatment solutions, is in process.
In 2015, the company expanded its strategic focus to include international E&P markets identifying opportunities in the North Sea and North America. It acquired a 20% stake in Ithaca Energy, a North Sea oil and gas operator, and, in 2016, farmed in a 70% working interest in Block 7 off Eastern Newfoundland, Canada. In June 2017, Delek acquired the remaining shares of Ithaca, becoming its sole owner. This acquisition has given Delek a strong operational capability that it will utilize as it continues to expand its international activities. Delek continues to evaluate a variety of new international opportunities.
In August 2015,the Israeli government approved its Natural Gas Framework, the regulations that govern the future development of Israel’s offshore natural gas assets, and ratified it in May 2016, thereby bringing certainty to Israel’s E&P industry. The plan calls for Delek to: 1) sell its stake in the Tamar field within six years; 2) sell its stakes in the Tanin and Karish fields, which Delek has since effectuated; and 3) develop Delek Group’s entire 25.5% economic interest in Leviathan. To date, Delek has taken the steps necessary to comply with the Framework’s orders.
Delek’s goals for the future are: 1) to become an E&P pure play by divesting its remaining non-core assets; 2) to further develop the East Med natural gas hub, including the Leviathan, Tamar, and Aphrodite fields and associated infrastructure; 3) to deploy the operational capabilities achieved through the Ithaca Energy acquisition; and 4) to continue its expansion in the international E&P space.
FOCUSED PURSUIT OF ENERGY ASSETS
Delek Group’s history is synonymous with Israel’s development of its energy resources, and the country’s successful transformation into an energy independent state.
Delek’s strategy is to complete the divestment of its non-core assets and to become an international E&P pure-play.
Founded in 1951, Delek is evolving to become an international E&P pure play.