Bloomberg News

Delek, Avner Rise on Bets Israel to Export Gas With Cyprus

February 20, 2012

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Avner Oil Exploration LLP and Delek Drilling-LP rose the most in two weeks on speculation Israel will allow exports of natural gas through a venture with Cyprus and before Israel Electric Corp. approves a gas deal.

Avner shares climbed 2.5 percent, the biggest advance since Feb. 5, to 2.644 shekels at 3:45 p.m. in Tel Aviv. Delek Drilling increased 2.2 percent, also the most since Feb. 5, to 15.15 shekels. Isramco Negev 2 LP gained 1.5 percent to 0.526 shekel, the most since Feb. 12.

“The shares are advancing on reports that Israel will promote the export of gas with Cyprus and expectations of the closing of the contract with Israel Electric Corp. for the Tamar gas,” Guil Bashan, an analyst at I.B.I.-Israel Brokerage & Investments Ltd. in Tel Aviv, said today by phone.

Cyprus and Israel are studying the possibility of a common pipeline that could help export natural gas to Europe and Asia, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Feb. 16. Netanyahu appointed a committee to promote the growth of the country’s gas sector and deal with geo-political aspects of the industry, including gas exports to East Asia, his office said in an e-mailed statement today.

Israel Electric’s board will continue today discussions to approve the Tamar gas deal, Iris Ben-Shahar, a spokeswoman for the electricity company, said by phone. The talks began on Thursday. Delek Drilling, Avner and Isramco are partners in the Tamar gas field.

--Editors: Daliah Merzaban, Inal Ersan

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at

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