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Another Israeli Gas Find in the Levant Basin?

Houston-based Noble Energy and Israeli energy company Delek Group said on 26 November that another gas find may be in the works with signs of a natural gas discovery in an exploration well in the offshore South West Tamar prospect.

The potential discovery comes after Delek in September estimated the undiscovered resource potential in the South Tamar prospect at around 684 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Delek Group said there were "strong signs” of natural gas, but "It is clarified that appraisal drilling work has not yet taken place and signs of natural gas do not necessarily indicate an existence of a discovery," Delek said in a statement.

Related article: Russia Takes Steps to Increase LNG Exports

The Tamar prospect—about 60 miles off Israel’s northern coast—was discovered by partners Noble Energy, Delek and Israeli company Avner Oil in 2009.

The wider Tamar field contains between 9 and 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and began production in March. While most of this gas will go to the domestic Israeli market, some will allowed to be exported, most likely to Egypt and Jordan, though contracts to this effect have not yet been signed.

For Noble Energy, this would be its 8th discovery in the Levant Basin. In late May, Noble announced a new discovery in the Mediterranean Sea, just 20 miles northeast of its Tamar field in its Karish well after drilling to a total depth of 15,783 feet. The well encountered 184 feet of net natural gas pay, and Noble thinks it potentially holds up to 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Related article: Shell Produces Gas at Record Low Cost in China

Noble is the operator of the Karish well license area, with a 47% stake. Avner Oil and Delek Drilling also have stakes in the license.  

This brings its estimated combined resources in the Levant Basin—including the Tamar and Leviathan fields—up to 38 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.  

Noble announced earlier this week that development of the Leviathan field will be delayed at least one year due to complication with the deep-water drillship procurement for the project.

By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com


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