TEL AVIV, Sept 4 (Reuters) – Israel’s Ratio Oil Exploration is expected to sign a long-awaited deal on Tuesday to search for oil and gas in the Philippines, a spokesman for Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte said.

Ratio was not available for immediate comment.

The company in 2015 was one of a number of foreign firms to be awarded an exploration deal. Ratio won the so-called East Palawan block, a 416,000-hectare oil and gas prospect off of Palawan, a southeastern province near the South China Sea.

But the award was delayed due to legal issues involving a previous exploration contract covering that block.

Duterte is visiting Israel this week. During his visit, Israel and the Philippines signed an agreement promoting foreign investments between the two countries.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer and Tova Cohen; editing by Jason Neely)

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