Dolphin gas field estimate cut by 85%

Netherland Sewell & Associates cut the gas field's best estimate to 81.3 billion cubic feet.

The estimated size of the Dolphin natural gas reservoir has been cut 85% by Netherland Sewell & Associates Ltd. (NSAI) to a best estimate of 81.3 billion cubic feet of gas from 550 billion cubic feet of gas. The Dolphin partners - Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL), Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG), and Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) - said that it was not possible at this time to set a timetable or development plan for the reservoir until a review of the development plans for adjacent reservoirs, which could be integrated with the Dolphin field, are completed.

The companies said, "Development of the Dolphin 1 reservoir might be combined with the development plans for Leviathan, located 30 kilometers to the northwest, or possibly with the development of the Tamar reservoir."

In a separate announcement, the three companies announced that NSAI reiterated its best estimate for the gas reserves at Leviathan: 16.8 trillion cubic feet with a 50% probability of success.

Noble Energy began drilling the exploratory Leviathan 3 well in June 2011, 30 kilometers from the abandoned Leviathan 2 well. The well will verify the results of the 3D seismic survey of the structure, which were announced in late 2010.

The companies said, "In view of the large estimated size of the contingent gas resources at the Leviathan reservoir, the main potential market for these resources is the international market. The partners are therefore reviewing alternatives for commercialization of the gas, including exporting the gas and selling it on the international market."

They added, "Each of the development alternatives has a fundamentally different timetable and set-up costs, so until the preferred alternative is chosen, it is not possible to make a reasonable estimate for the development timetable and budget of the reservoir."

Noble Energy owns 39.66% of Leviathan and Dolphin, Delek Group units Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L) and Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L) each own 22.67%, and Ratio owns 15%.

Delek Group's share price rose 1.6% by mid-afternoon to NIS 764, giving a market cap of NIS 8.6 billion, Avner's share price rose 1.2% to NIS 2.63, giving a market cap of NIS 8.7 billion, Delek Drilling's share price rose 0.9% to NIS 15.13, giving a market cap of NIS 8.2 billion, and Ratio's share price rose 0.3% to NIS 0.37, giving a market cap of NIS 2.75 billion.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on February 12, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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