Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) and Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) subsidiaries Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (TASE: DEDR.L) and Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L) are expected to lay off dozens of Israeli employees after the Passover holiday, sources inform “Globes.” The layoffs follow the lack of progress in the Israeli gas industry, especially the delay in development of the Leviathan natural gas reservoir. Hundreds of Noble Energy engineers who were working in Houston, Texas on the development of Leviathan and the expansion of the Tamar reservoir have already been fired.
Noble Energy announced in its 2014 financial statements that it was planning a 40% cut in its worldwide investments, mainly due to the halving of oil prices in recent months. Noble Energy has decided to suspend all its investments in Israel. Several months ago, the Israel Antitrust Authority director general announced that he intended to restructure the gas industry.
Noble Energy’s suspension of business in Israel began with the suspension of its lease with Israel Shipyards, from which it rented 28 dunam (seven acres) used as a base for the company’s marine activity. This measure was followed two weeks ago by the filing of a NIS 58 million lawsuit against the state for overcharging on royalties and one week ago by the return to the state of the company’s Ruth C license.
Source told “Globes” that letters will be sent to the Israeli employees after Passover informing them that they are being laid off. They added that Delek Drilling and Avner have released several of their senior executives in Israel, and are planning major personnel cuts after the holiday.
Noble Energy said, “Noble Energy management is constantly considering adjustments to the dynamic business climate to facilitate the continuation of its investments in the development of long-term projects.”
This article was written by Hedy Cohen from Globes, Tel Aviv, Israel and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.