Sources inform ''Globes'' that Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) has made positive findings in the second target strata at Leviathan, belying media reports that no oil had yet been found. The source said, however, that the signs are not yet unequivocal. The 3D seismic survey of the Leviathan structure indicates that the second target strata (the first strata that may contain oil), at a depth of 5,800 meters, may have three billion barrels of oil with a 17% chance of geological success.
A source familiar with the Leviathan 1 exploratory well said that previous reports that there were no signs of oil were speculation based on ignorance. "The target strata at any well anywhere in the world are a depth target, not an absolute target, so the reports claiming that the well reached the strata at a certain depth is groundless." He called the reports "irresponsible".
The source added that, although drilling was halted because of a technical breakdown, it would resume and continue to greater depths in order to fully realize the potential of oil in strata as deep as 8,000 meters
Noble Energy owns 39.66% of Leviathan, Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) units Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L) and Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L) each own 22.67% and Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) owns 15%.
The natural gas is in the first target strata, at a depth of 5,100 meters. The 3D seismic survey also indicated the presence of 1.2 billion barrels of oil with an 8% chance of geological success in the third target strata, at a depth of 7,200 meters.
Delek Group's share price fell 1.1% on the reports in morning trading to NIS 905.10, Avner's share price fell 2% to NIS 2.44, Delek Drilling's share price fell 2.3% to NIS 13.78, and Ratio's share price fell 3.5% to NIS 0.499.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on April 10, 2011
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