Israel's Delek finalises sale of Tamar gas stake to Abu Dhabi's Mubadala

An Israeli gas platform is seen in the Mediterranean sea, off the coast of Israel's port city of Ashdod August 1, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

JERUSALEM, Sept 2 (Reuters) - Delek Drilling (DEDRp.TA) has finalised a deal to sell its 22% stake in the east Mediterranean Tamar gas field to Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Petroleum for about $1 billion, the Israeli company said on Thursday.

Delek said it is the biggest commercial deal to be signed between Israeli and Emirati groups since Israel and the United Arab Emirates normalised ties last year. A preliminary agreement was reached in April but it required government approval.

The Tamar field is one of Israel's primary energy sources and can produce 11 billion cubic metres of gas a year - enough to cover much of the Israeli market as well as exports to Egypt and Jordan.

Delek Drilling, a unit of conglomerate Delek Group (DLEKG.TA), holds a 22% stake in the field, which is operated by Chevron (CVX.N).

Mubadala Petroleum, a unit of Abu Dhabi government-owned Mubadala Investment Company, said the acquisition "will complement Mubadala Petroleum's gas-biased portfolio strategy in line with its energy transition goals".

Delek also holds a significant stake in the even larger Leviathan gas field nearby and is selling its Tamar holdings to comply with government moves to open the market to more competition.

"A huge deal with a company from the United Arab Emirates, alongside exporting gas to Eygpt and Jordan, are actions on the ground and exactly how to build a new Middle East," said Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch Additional reporting by Hadeel Al Sayegh in Dubai Editing by Jeffrey Heller and David Goodman

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