Water in shaft causes another delay in Leviathan drilling

Drilling at Leviathan 2 began on March 20, some 14 kilometers from Leviathan 1.

leviathan gas drill (photo credit: (Albatross))
leviathan gas drill
(photo credit: (Albatross))
The Leviathan 2 drilling site has been moved one kilometer away from the current site after water entered the shaft, the Leviathan partners headed by Noble Energy Inc. decided on Saturday. The belief is that the change of plans will delay the Leviathan timetable by about one month.
Drilling at Leviathan 2 began on March 20, some 14 kilometers from Leviathan 1. The initial findings from the drilling were due to be published at the end of June. The drilling was halted several hundred meters above the target strata at a depth of 5,400 meters.
The delay will also influence attempts to find oil at Leviathan 1 because according to the plan, drilling at Leviathan 1 was only due to recommence after drilling at Leviathan 2 is completed.
Professional sources told Globes that it is not exceptional for water to enter a drilling shaft and that usually such events are covered by insurance. So the delay should not involve extra costs for the Leviathan partners. The cost of renting the drilling rig amounts to $250,000 per day on top of several hundred thousand dollars a day running expenses.
Drilling at Leviathan 2 will enable a more exact assessment of the natural gas reserves found in Leviathan 1 at the end of 2010. The Leviathan 1 drilling was carried out by the Sedco Express rig owned by Transocean Inc. at a cost of $180,000 per day.
The drilling at Leviathan 2 is being carried out by the Pride North America rig which is considered more reliable for deep water drilling.
The partners in the Leviathan field are Noble Energy (40 percent), Delek Group Ltd. units Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (22.5%) and Avner Oil and Gas Ltd. (22.5%), and Ratio Oil Exploration Ltd. (15%).