leviathan gas drill.
(photo credit: (Albatross))
The partners in the Leviathan drilling project showed lower prices for their Tel
Aviv Stock Exchange-listed securities on Sunday, as trading resumed after being
halted on Sunday morning following Noble Energy’s announcement on Friday that it
had suspended drilling operations at the Leviathan 1 exploratory
The Israeli partners did not report the announcement to the TASE
until around 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, and trading in their securities was
After resumption of trading, Ratio Oil Exploration dropped by
the end of the day to its lowest point in almost two months, decreasing 8.6
percent to NIS 0.519. Delek Drilling-LP declined 2.5% to NIS 13.42 and Avner Oil
Exploration-LP retreated 2.8% to NIS 2.41.
Noble Energy said on Friday
that it had suspended drilling in the Leviathan natural-gas field to replace a
worn wellbore casing, which requires additional material and equipment necessary
to complete the drilling of the well. It added that it is working to secure the
needed items, which are not available in Israel. Noble Energy is therefore
preparing to move the Sedco Express rig to the Tamar field, where development
drilling is anticipated to begin in about one week.
Noble is drilling the
Leviathan 1 well to determine whether two rock formations about 2,000 meters
(6,500 feet) below the initial discovery hold oil or gas, spokesman David Larson
said on April 1.
Geologists have put the odds of commercial discovery at
17% for one formation and 8% for the other, he said. It is not clear when
drilling at the Leviathan 1 well will resume, or if the suspension of drilling
will affect the timetable for announcing preliminary results about the presence
of oil in the second target strata (the first strata which contains oil), at a
depth of 5,800 meters, which are due in May.
Sources involved with the
drilling told Globes on Friday that the necessary parts may not arrive in Israel
for several weeks.
Noble Energy owns 39.66% of Leviathan licenses, Delek
Group units Avner Oil and Delek Drilling each own 22.67% and Ratio Oil
Exploration owns 15%.
Delek and Noble Energy are also partners in
Meanwhile, Modiin Energy LP and Israel Land Development Company
Energy Ltd. have signed a letter of intent with an offshore drilling rig
operator, who is a leading player in the field, and are in negotiations on a
final contract to drill at the Myra and Sarah licenses.
said that Petroleum Supervisor Dr.
Yaakov Mimran notified them that, in
view of these negotiations, the deadline to sign a contract with the drilling
contractor has been postponed until April 30. The companies expect to begin
drilling the first exploratory well in December 2011.
ILDC Energy CEO
Ohad Marani said, “The company is making progress in accordance with its plans
to begin exploratory drilling at the Sarah and Myra licenses by the end of
Modiin Energy’s share price fell 2% in early trading to NIS 0.048,
giving a market cap of NIS 824 million, and ILDC Energy's share price fell 1.1%
to NIS 0.775, giving a market cap of NIS 641 million.
contributed to this report.