Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) has told "Reuters" that it will also soon begin drilling the Leviathan prospect offshore from Israel, which may be three times larger than Tamar.
Noble Energy has a 39.66% holding in the Leviathan prospect along with Delek Group Ltd. (TASE:DLEKG) subsidiaries Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (TASE:DEDR.L) and Avner Oil and Gas Ltd. (TASE:AVNR.L) (22.67% each), and Ratio Oil Exploration Ltd. (TASE:RATI.L) (15%).
In financial reports, Noble Energy has previously said that Leviathan's estimated natural gas reserves were double the size of the Tamar field.
Exploratory drilling of the Leviathan prospect is scheduled to begin next month and initial results are expected towards the end of the year or the start of 2011.
In July, Noble Energy said that there is a 50% chance of finding 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in the Leviathan field, which is almost double the estimated 8.4 trillion cubic feet in the Tamar prospect. It now seems that Nobel Energy is raising this estimate.
IBI Investment House Ltd. (TASE:IBI) analyst Gil Bashan told "Globes," "If Noble Energy's estimates of Leviathan are right then Israel's gas export potential goes up because it will provide the country's full needs. If the amount of gas in the ground rises above earlier estimates it is difficult to believe it will be saved for future generations and it is very reasonable to assume that some of the gas will be designated for export."
In early afternoon trading on the TASE, Delek Drilling's share price was up 3.43% to NIS 14.17, Avner's share price was up 4.03% to NIS 24.55, Ratio's share price was up 4.47% to NIS 0.42.
Published by Globes, Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on September 26, 2010
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