Ratio investors fear Noble Energy's Leviathan silence

Industry sources believe that the lack of comment implies unexpected delays.

Trading in participating units of Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) today took place against the backdrop of the financial report for the first quarter of Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), Ratio's partner in the Leviathan offshore license. Ratio investors had hoped to learn something about the license, where a 3D seismic study has been conducted, analysis of which is now underway by Noble Energy in the US.

In its previous financial report, Noble Energy said that it expected to drill at another large basin in the second half of the year in Israel, and to drill in two discoveries already found during 2011.

Noble Energy did not reiterate that statement. Instead, Noble Energy chairman and CEO Charles Davidson said, "On the exploration and appraisal front, our programs will remain active throughout the year as we appraise the large Gunflint discovery and continue testing the potential in all three of our key offshore basins: the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, West Africa, and the Eastern Mediterranean." The last reference implies the Leviathan license. In recent months, Davidson has said that the company has no plans to comment on the results of the Leviathan 3D survey until the tests are completed.

Industry sources believe that the lack of comment implies unexpected delays in the release of the findings and analysis.

Ratio's share price fell 5.3% today to NIS 0.142, giving a market cap of NIS 1.02 billion. Today's turnover was NIS 51.4 million, more than ten times the average daily turnover in the past three months.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 29, 2010

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2010

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