Oil, gas prospector gets exploration permit

Ratio Oil Exploration planning to invest up to NIS 4.5 million in compiling surveys before applying for drilling license.

Following the discovery of large fields of natural gas on the floor of the Mediterranean Sea, Ratio Oil Exploration Ltd. on Thursday was given an additional oil-and-gas exploration permit in the nearby seabed for the Gal prospect site.
The National Infrastructures Ministry approved the exploration permit for Ratio Oil Exploration’s Gal site, which is located 150 kilometers offshore from Netanya, next to the Tamar field.
Ratio Oil Exploration said it was planning to invest up to NIS 4.5 million in compiling surveys before applying for a drilling license.
“The early permit we received for the prospect enables us start geological and geophysical surveys to map out the areas for a drilling license,” Ratio Oil Exploration CEO Yigal Landau said.
The surveys would be carried out on the basis of recommendations made by the company’s experts, which indicate that the Gal site has potential for gas deposits, he said.
The Gal site is located in the eastern part of the permit area of “Ratio Sea,” southwest of the Tamar structure, which holds five different license areas.
The Gal exploration permit has a validation date until August 15, 2011. The area of the prospect stretches across 1.77 million dunams located at the edge of Israel’s economic territorial waters.
In the first stage, Ratio Oil Exploration said it was planning to complete the seismic mapping of the prospect by this April. The company said it then would seek to hire a firm to conduct a seismic survey, at an investment of $3.6m., which is scheduled to be completed by this November. It said it would start drilling at the site by the beginning of June 2011.
Within the Ratio Sea permit area, Ratio Oil Exploration also owns the Leviathan prospect, which is located 130 km. offshore from Haifa and has been declared as a potential natural-gas exploration site.
Ratio Oil Exploration said the gas potential of the Leviathan prospect was larger than the Tamar 1 site. The Tamar 1 well has been estimated to have a resource potential of 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Ratio Oil Exploration, which was founded in February 1993, joins therecent rush for the exploration of natural gas in Israel, together withIsramco Ltd., Modi’in Energy LP, Lapidoth Israel Oil ProspectorsCorporation Ltd., Avner Oil & Gas and others.
On Tuesday, the Canadian Bontan Oil and Gas Company, which has beenexploring natural gas off the coast of Israel, said it had foundprospective resources of up to 6 trillion cubic feet of natural gas atthe Mira and Sarah sites off the country’s coast. The two finds areestimated to be worth more than of $7 billion.