Israel-based exploration and development company Delek Drilling is planning to spin off its remaining 22% stake in the offshore Tamar gas field in the Mediterranean Sea next year.

The company is now focusing abroad, including the Euronext market, Reuters reported citing Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu.

Last July, Delek spun off a 9.25% stake in the Tamar field into a new Tel-Aviv-based company named Tamar Petroleum, for an estimated consideration of $980m.

The company is looking for the overseas market as it believes the domestic market is already saturated for Tamar.

“We are looking to duplicate what we did with Tamar Petroleum but in the international market.”

Speaking at the Israel Energy and Business Convention, Abu said: “We are looking to duplicate what we did with Tamar Petroleum but in the international market. It’s a process that is gaining momentum and we hope to finish it in 2019.”

Delek and its partners made the Tamar discovery in 2009. Production from the field commenced in 2013.

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Tamar is said to be Israel’s second-biggest gas reserve behind the Leviathan gas field, in which Delek holds a 45.34% interest.

The proposed spin-off is part of the Israeli Government’s plans to open the energy market to competition. The government is exerting pressure on Delek to sell its share in Tamar.

Other partners in the Tamar field include Noble Energy (25%), Isramco (28.75%), Tamar Petroleum (16.75%), Dor Gas Exploration (4%), and Everest Infrastructures (3.5%).

In September, Noble, Delek Drilling and the Egyptian East Gas Co signed a deal to buy a 39% interest in the EMG pipeline to enable a $15bn transaction for exporting natural gas to Egypt to begin next year.

The gas supply deal was signed in February.

Around 64 billion cubic metres of gas will be supplied from Tamar and Leviathan fields over a period of ten years.

Abu said he hopes the partners will commence gas exports to Egypt in the first half of next year.