The Cypriot media report that Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) will begin drilling an offshore exploratory well at Block 12 on September 21. The well is located in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, just 12 kilometers from Israel’s Leviathan gas field, and previously Noble Energy had reported that it would not begin drilling until October.
Noble Energy will use the Homer Ferrington rig currently drilling at the Noa field, near Yam Tethys offshore from Ashkelon. Noble Energy and Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) jointly own Noa and Yam Tethys. Noble Energy obtained the concession for Block 12 in 2008, and its Leviathan and Tamar partner Delek Group has an option to acquire 30% of the concession through units Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L) and Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L). Delek Group is seeking an amendment to the Securities Law (5728-1968) to allow it to exercise the option, and expects to obtain the amendment within a few months.
Noble Energy has never disclosed figures about the potential gas field at Block 12, but Cypriot Commerce Ministry Energy Service director Solon Kassinin has said estimated the field at 10 trillion cubic feet, making it larger than Tamar, but 60% smaller than Leviathan. Kassinin did not mention the geologic probability of the reservoir. All the fields are located in the deepwater Levant Basin.
The Block 12 exploratory drilling is due to take two months, after which the Homer Ferrington rig will return to Israeli waters to drill two exploratory wells at Myra and Sarah. Myra and Sarah licensee Israel Land Development Company Energy Ltd. (TASE: IE) announced that the first well is due to begin in December.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on August 14, 2011
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