|311_offshore oil well.(Photo by: Associated Press)|
Partners to drill for oil beneath Leviathan gas find
By SHARON WROBEL
Consortium okays a $150 million budget for exploration at the site near Haifa.
The four partners in the Leviathan prospect estimate that there is a 17 percent
probability of finding reserves equal to 3 billion barrels of oil, and an 8
percent probability of finding reserves equal to 4.2 billion barrels, in a
stratum beneath the natural gas field under the Mediterranean Sea near
“The new information revives investors’ dreams of finding oil,”
said IBI analyst Guil Bashan. “It is still too early to know whether the
findings are commercial.”
The probability estimates were provided at a
meeting of the partners on Thursday.
They approved a drilling plan and
budget for the Leviathan site located 135 kilometers west of Haifa.
the first instance, the partners okayed a $150 million budget for
the site, which is estimated to hold 16 trillion cubic feet of natural
a 50% probability of geological success.
In the report published on
Sunday, the partners announced that the secondary objective of the
plan is to drill to lower layers of the Leviathan site, beneath the gas
potential, to collect geological data and further examine the economic
of gas and oil finds.
Current estimates give a 17% chance of discovering
reserves equal to 3 billion barrels of oil at a depth of 5,800 meters.
addition there is a probability of geological success of 8% of finding a
which is estimated to equal to 1.2 billion barrels of oil at a depth of
At the same though, the companies involved in the Leviathan
field, including Delek Drilling LP and Avner Oil Exploration LP,
it was too early to make a decision over drilling wells to access the
further geological testing was necessary.
Drilling at the Leviathan site
is scheduled to begin in October and continue for five months.
partners in the Leviathan site are Noble Energy, which owns 39.66% of
and Rachel licenses forming the Leviathan gas find, Avner Oil and Gas LP
Delek Drilling LP, who each own 22.67%, and Ratio Oil Exploration LP,
holds a 15% stake.
Back in June, Yitzhak Tshuva, controlling shareholder
of the Delek Group, which is a partner in the Leviathan prospect through
subsidiaries Avner Oil and Gas LP and Delek Drilling LP, said the site
potential to make Israel energy independent, and position the country as
exporter in coming years with the ability to supply the European market
Bloomberg contributed to this report.