Woodside nears Leivathan compromise

Energy giant close to tax agreement with Israel govt, deal may be altered: report.

Woodside Petroleum (WPL) is close to a compromise with the Israeli government over a disputed view on tax arrangements relating to its planned entry into the mammoth Leviathan gas field, Israeli business daily Globes reports.

Just a fortnight ago, Woodside made an eleventh hour decision to cancel a planned signing ceremony in Jerusalem that would have confirmed a deal to claim 25% of Leviathan for as much as $2.85 billion.

The belated decision came after Woodside failed to find common ground with the Israeli government on accelerated amortisation. The Australian energy giant was willing to accept a 10-year amortisation period, while the government was not eager to agree anything less than 25 years.

According to Globes, the two sides have now made significant progress, with a deal possible ahead of the Passover holiday, which begins next Tuesday.

While the news is a positive development on the stalled deal, the paper added that joint venture partners in the project -- Delek Group, Noble Energy and Ratio Oil and Exploration -- may seek to revise the terms of the agreement given Woodside missed the March 27 deadline to confirm the latest Memorandum of Understanding.

Woodside first signed an MoU in December 2012, before revising that deal in February this year.

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