New oil drilling rig arrives at Leviathan field

By HILLEL KOREN/GLOBES
February 23, 2011 00:54

The Pride North America rig will begin drilling to the field's deeper strata, where the 3D seismic survey indicates the presence of oil.

1 minute read.



Offshore Leviathan gas field.

leviathan gas drill. (photo credit: (Albatross))

Sources inform “Globes’’ that the Pride North America rig arrived at the Leviathan field Monday evening, and will begin drilling to the structure’s deeper strata, where the 3D seismic survey indicates the presence of oil. The Pride North America is replacing the Sedco Express rig at the site.

The Israeli capital market is waiting tensely for the confirmation of the presence of oil at Leviathan. The well’s US partner, Noble Energy Inc., is due to publish drilling results in late March. Noble Energy owns 39.66 percent of Leviathan, Delek Group Ltd. units Avner Oil and Gas LP and Delek Drilling LP subsidiaries each own 22.67%, and Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP owns 15%.

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Ratio’s share price has been falling steadily over the past two weeks, losing over 25% of its value. The reasons range from a halt in purchases of shares by Yitzhak Tshuva-controlled Delek from Ratio’s parties at interest to investors’ edginess ahead of the publication of results from the exploratory well.

The Pride North America rig’s arrival at Leviathan dispelled one rumor in the Israeli capital market – that Noble Energy planned to divert the rig to the company’s concessions in Cypriot waters nearby. The unsubstantiated rumors caused investors to sell shares in Leviathan’s Israeli partners, pushing down their share prices.

The Pride North America rig will drill to the third target strata at a depth of 7,200 meters, where the 3D seismic survey indicates the presence of 1.2 billion barrels of oil with an 8% chance of geological success.

The survey indicates the presence of three billion barrels of oil with a 17% chance of geological success in the second target strata, at a depth of 7,200 meters.

Delek Group’s share price fell 0.7% in morning trading to NIS 874, but Avner’s share price rose 0.8% to NIS 2.27, Delek Drilling’s share price rose 1.2% to NIS 13.07, and Ratio’s share price rose 3.5% to NIS 0.533.


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