Following years of bureaucratic delays, drilling at Israel's 613-billion cubic meter Leviathan gas reservoir has begun. "Last night we started drilling at Leviathan," said Yossi Abu, CEO of Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration, at the 9th National Committee for Energy conference, in Tel Aviv on Tuesday morning. "We are determined to increase and satisfy the demand of the Israeli economy." The Atwood Advantage drilling vessel began operations at Leviathan after completing work at the neighboring Tamar reservoir's Tamar-8 well. All in all, the budget for drilling both Leviathan-7 and the subsequent Leviathan-5 well will amount to about $71 million. In the first stage, Leviathan-7, located about 120 km west of Haifa, is slated to be drilled to a depth of about 2,900 meters below sea level. In the next stage, Leviathan-5 will be drilled to a final depth of about 5,200 meters below sea level and Leviathan-7 to about 5,100 meters below sea level. The target layers in the wells are the Oligo-Miocene layers – an average age of more than 25 million years, according to the partners.