WOODSIDE has abandoned plans to farm into the Leviathan licences offshore Israel after failing to reach what it called a “commercially acceptable outcome”.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding in February with Noble Energy Mediterranean and partners to acquire a 25 per cent participating interest in each of the 349/ Rachel and 350/Amit petroleum licences.

Woodside chief executive Peter Coleman said all parties had worked hard to secure a positive outcome.

“But after many months of negotiations it is time to acknowledge we will not get there under the current proposal,” he said.

Woodside had initially planned to develop a two-train onshore LNG plant for the developments, with exports sold into Asia.

But Noble Energy chairman Charles D. Davidson said growth in regional markets had resulted in dramatic changes.

“The emergence of these regional markets, which are accessible through pipeline outlet, has pushed the need for LNG into a later phase of development versus our earlier plans,” he said.