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The Israeli partners in the offshore Tamar natural gas field said Thursday that they have signed a letter of intent to sell liquefied natural gas to a unit of Russian energy giant OAO Gazprom (GAZP.RS).
The partners, which include Delek Group Ltd. (DLEKG.TV) subsidiaries Avner Oil Exploration (AVNR.L.TV) and Delek Drilling LP (DEDR.L.TV) , didn't say how much gas Gazprom would want to buy, and said the price would be based on the market price of natural gas in Asia.
The Tamar underwater field contains an estimated 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and is scheduled to begin production next year.
The Tamar partners have already signed several contracts to supply Israeli-based customers, including the state-owned electric company, with natural gas once production begins. Avner and Delek Drilling said a contract with Gazprom wouldn't limit its ability to meet Israel's natural gas needs.
At 1250GMT, shares of Delek Drilling were up 0.09 shekels, or 0.7%, at ILS13.94 ($3.68), and shares of Avner were up ILS0.013, or 0.5%, at ILS2.518, in a lower Tel Aviv market.
U.S.-based Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) owns 36% of Tamar.
-By Sara Toth Stub, Contributing to Dow Jones Newswires, email@example.com