US-based Noble Energy has signed a $369m agreement to divest a 3% working interest in the Tamar field in offshore Israel to Harel Group and Israel Infrastructure Fund (IIF).

Under the agreement, both Harel and IIF can opt to acquire an additional 1% working interest from Noble Energy at the same valuation, prior to closing of the deal.

Noble Energy operations executive vice-president Gary Willingham said: "This transaction reflects the inherent value of our producing Tamar asset, which reliably fuels more than half of Israel’s electricity generation today.

"It also highlights the potential of our other undeveloped Levant Basin discoveries, which share similar reservoir and well deliverability characteristics and are poised to bring needed energy to a region which is fundamentally short natural gas."

"Tamar asset reliably fuels more than half of Israel’s electricity generation today."

The deal is subject to customary terms and conditions and is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.

In response to the continued increasing demand for natural gas usage within the country, Noble Energy and partners plan to drill and complete an additional development well at the Tamar field.

Drilling is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of this year.

Noble Energy operates the Tamar field with a 36% working interest, and is carrying out an 11% sell-down of its interest in it in accordance with Israel’s approved Natural Gas Regulatory Framework.

The remaining 7% to 8% interest is planned to be sold over the next 36 months.

Once the sell-down process is complete, Noble Energy will retain a 25% working interest and operatorship in the field.

The Tamar field has recoverable gross mean natural gas resources of ten trillion cubic feet.

The company also operates the offshore Leviathan field in Israel with a 39.66% working interest and the Aphrodite field in offshore Cyprus with a 35% interest.