A new and potentially robust “shark” may be floating in the Mediterranean’s
A significant gas presence on Wednesday evening was
reported from the Karish 1 well (shark in English), located about 75 kilometers
northwest of Haifa, said The Delek Group, an Israelbased conglomerate and gas
While official analyses of the drilling results will be
conducted by Netherland, Sewell – Oil & Gas Engineering Consulting Services
(NSAI) and published within the next two months, the Delek Group and its
partners are stressing that there is likely a sizable gas presence in the well,
which is located within the Alon C basin.
Alon C stands just northeast of
the 282-billion-cubic meter Tamar basin that is already flowing into Israel’s
gas pipes, and further northeast of Tamar’s neighboring – and roughly 535-
billion-cubic-meter – Leviathan reservoir. Preliminary estimates from NSAI have
revealed that Karish 1 probably contains about 57 billion cubic meters of gas,
the Delek Group said.
Through two of its subsidiaries, Delek Drilling and
Avner Oil Exploration, the Delek Group holds a total of 53 percent of interest
in Karish 1, while Houston-based Noble Energy holds 47%. All of these partners
are also stakeholders in the much larger Tamar and Leviathan
“This is proof of the power of the Israeli gas industry and of
the great gas potential that exists off the coast of Israel, and we must keep up
the momentum,” said Delek Drilling chairman and Avner Oil Exploration CEO Gideon
“These tidings from Karish join the growing volume of gas in
Leviathan that was just announced two weeks ago. The energy security of Israel
is intensifying with each discovery, and we cannot stop the momentum that has
been created for the establishment of an Israeli natural gas
This future natural gas industry, Tadmor explained, will allow
the State of Israel to thrive with an additional hundreds of billions of shekels
that come from taxes and royalties generated from gas
Although the Tamar reservoir will be for domestic use only,
the government is expected to allow Leviathan to serve both domestic and export
However, a heated debate surrounds the conclusions of the
Zemach Committee, which has recommended allowing no more than 50% or up to 500
billion cubic meters of gas for export.
environmentalists continue to argue, are too high and will hinder Israel’s own
gas needs in the future. The drilling firms, on the other hand, argue that the
state cannot encourage further explorations in the region without a solid and
substantial export policy – from which the companies know that they can generate
a stable profit.
“Natural gas discoveries are a significant growth engine
for the economy,” said Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu.
significant quantities encourage additional players from Israel and abroad to
invest heavily in additional exploration, and the experience in the world and in
Israel proves that when you search for more gas you find more
Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom praised the announcement of
the likely significant finds in Karish on Wednesday night.
the supply of natural gas in the reservoirs will allow us to provide more gas to
the local market and increase state revenues, which will be directed into
investments in education, welfare, health and in the Negev and Galilee for the
benefit of Israel’s citizens,” Shalom said.