"Leviathan" production tests positive

Ratio Oil: The results were excellent and the natural gas is flowing smoothly.

The Israeli partners in the Leviathan gas and oil exploration license, - Avner Oil and Gas LP (TASE: AVNR.L), Delek Drilling LP (TASE: DEDR.L), and Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) - today notified the TASE that the production tests at the Leviathan 1 well have been completed and that the quantity of petroleum produced in the target strata (Miocene era sands) is 71.1 million cubic feet of natural gas and 93 barrels of condensate.

The well's average flow rate is 36.1 million cubic feet of gas a day (similar to the rate at the Tamar well), and the initial pressure in the well is 8,515 PSI.

Ratio told "Globes" that the results were execellent and and that the natural gas flow was fairly smooth (i.e. without complications). It added that the production rate was controlled and limited by the equipment used for the production tests.

The Noble Homer Ferrington rig, which drilled the well, is due to leave the site, and move to the Myra and Sarah licenses to drill exploratory wells.

Six weeks ago, Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) reported that drilling of the Leviathan 1 well was halted before reaching the deep oil-bearing target strata. It said that the decision to halt drilling at a depth of 6,500 meters was due to high pressures and mechanical limits.

Noble Energy said that natural gas was discovered at a depth of 21,000 feet (6,522 meters), and that this gas had a heavier composition than the gas discovered in shallower levels, suggesting a thermogenic source. Additionally, at a total depth of 21,400 feet, higher pressure was encountered indicating the possibility of an overlying seal.

Noble Energy is already considering leasing a deep water rig, which is currently in Egypt. The Leviathan drilling plan is targeting two deep oil-bearing strata.

Noble Energy owns 39.66% of Leviathan, Delek Group Ltd. (TASE: DLEKG) units Avner and Delek Drilling each own 22.67% and Ratio owns 15%.

Delek Group's share price rose 0.4% in morning trading to NIS 622.20, giving a market cap of NIS 7.1 billion, Avner's share price rose 2.7% to NIS 2.23, giving a market cap of NIS 7.3 billion, Delek Drilling's share price rose 2.6% trading to NIS 12.38, giving a market cap of NIS 6.6 billion, and Ratio's share price rose 4.9% trading to NIS 0.30, giving a market cap of NIS 2.2 billion.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on June 18, 2012

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

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