Ratio’s bond issue reassures analysts of commitment to Leviathan project

Ratio Oil Exploration, a partner in the development of the huge offshore Leviathan natural gas field, had a successful bond issue Monday, enabling it to meet a deadline for providing $600 million in funding for initial development of the field. The company issued 580 million shekels in bonds, amid a high demand of 740 million shekels ($194 million) .

A source close to Ratio acknowledged on Tuesday that “analysts in the capital markets wondered about Ratio’s capacity to raise funds to develop Leviathan,” but he said Ratio’s “success in bond fundraising has dispelled those concerns and proved the company’s financial commitment to the project.”

Ratio has a 15% stake in Leviathan. Another 45% is held by Delek Drilling and the Avner Oil Exploration while Noble Energy of Texas holds the remaining 40%. The cost of the initial phase of development of Leviathan is estimated at $3.5 billion to $4 billion, part of which was financed through bank loans. It is Ratio’s portion of the balance that came to $600 million.