Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Petroleum could buy stake in Israel natural gas field for $1.1b

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Mubadala’s deal for stake in natural gas field continues recent forays made by Abu Dhabi investment funds and entities into Israel. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala plans to buy a stake in an Israeli natural-gas field for up to $1.1 billion, in what would be one of the first major business deals since the nations normalized ties last year.

Mubadala Petroleum, which operates $232 billion of assets, has agreed to a MoU to buy Delek Drilling LP’s 22 per cent stake in the Tamar offshore field. “If finalized, the transaction will be the largest commercial agreement” since the signing of the Abraham Accords, Delek said.

Israel and the UAE’s deal in August was a historic breakthrough hailed by leaders including then-US President Donald Trump as a crucial step toward forging peace in the Middle East. The UAE was the first Arab nation after Egypt and Jordan to recognize Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promised it would lead to billions of dollars of investment in his country. Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan have since then also normalized ties with Israel, following intense diplomacy from Netanyahu and Trump.

Hi-tech focus

The UAE and Israel have agreed to develop anti-drone systems, artificial intelligence and big data analysis together as bi-lateral ties expand. There have also been talks between businesses in the two countries on everything from oil pipelines, to soccer to financial payments.

In a statement, Mubadala Petroleum said that a “non-binding MoU” has been struck, “which is an important step forward in the acquisition of Delek Drilling’s 22 per cent non-operated stake in the Tamar gas field, offshore Israel. The proposed transaction is in line with our strategy of seeking high quality, value accretive and ESG-compliant investments that strengthen our gas-biased portfolio. We look forward to pursuing the next steps in this process.”