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Shares soar at Israeli energy giant after BP and Adnoc offer

Offshore exploration Reuters/Amir Cohen
The government has started a $1.8bn programme to drill natural gas exploration wells in the Mediterranean Sea and Nile Delta
  • NewMed Energy share price rose more than 36%
  • BP and Adnoc forming joint venture for gas development
  • Israeli firm holds stake in Mediterranean gas reservoir

Shares in Israeli energy giant NewMed Energy soared on Tuesday after BP confirmed that, together with Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), it has made a non-binding offer to buy a 50 percent stake in the company.

The Tel Aviv Stock Exchange-listed natural gas operator saw its share price rise by more than 36 percent following the announcement which proposes taking NewMed Energy private through the acquisition of publicly available shares.  

BP and Adnoc said they intend to form a new joint venture that will be focused on gas development in international areas of mutual interest including the East Mediterranean. 

The deal, thought to be worth $2 billion, comes hours after the UAE and Israel signed a customs agreement which allows a recently approved free trade deal to come into force.

In 2022 the non-oil bilateral trade volume between the UAE and Israel exceeded $2.5 billion, with experts predicting that could double by 2025.

BP said the proposed transaction with NewMed Energy would be a “significant first step”, adding that once completed it would “strengthen the broader strategic partnership between Adnoc and BP across oil and gas, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage technology”.  

NewMed Energy, which initiated the natural gas sector in Israel, made history with its agreements with Egypt, Jordan and the UAE which strengthened peace and increased stability in the Middle East. 

The company, part of the Delek Group, holds 45.34 percent of the Leviathan Reservoir, the largest gas reservoir in the Mediterranean, which serves as a key source of energy for Israel and neighbouring countries.

The NewMed Energy offer builds on the relationship between BP and Adnoc. Last year Adnoc announced it will take a 25 percent stake in the design stage of BP’s blue hydrogen project, H2Teesside in the north-east of England.

H2Teesside is expected to kickstart the UK’s hydrogen economy at scale with the development of two 500mw hydrogen production units by 2030. The project aims to start operations in 2027.

BP will also join Adnoc to evaluate a new blue hydrogen project in Abu Dhabi, conducting a joint feasibility study.

Although global investment in energy transition technologies reached a new record of $1.3 trillion in 2022, yearly investments must more than quadruple to over $5 trillion to stay on the 1.5°C climate change target, according to the World Energy Transitions Outlook 2023, published by the International Renewable Energy Agency on Tuesday. 

By 2030, cumulative investments must amount to $44 trillion, with transition technologies representing 80 percent of the total, or $35 trillion, it added.