Initial drilling confirms that a huge gas field has been found off Israel’s Mediterranean shore. The amount of natural gas in the Leviathan gas field is estimated at 450 billion cubic meters – almost twice the size of the previous large gas discovery at the Tamar field. The find was announced in June but the size could not be confirmed until now. Preliminary estimations evaluate the market value in some US$95 billion.
About one month ago, the partners in the drilling project reached their target layer in an underwater geological structure 135 km west of Haifa. The Sedco Express rig drilled through 1,634 meters of water and penetrated to 5,100 meters under sea level. When it reached a layer of sand, advanced geological tests were conducted, and their results confirmed the presence of the gas.
The American Noble Energy Inc. owns 39,66% of the project; they are associated with three Israeli companies: Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas (with an 22,67% each) and Ratio Oil Exploration, (with the resting 15%).
The project could in the future make of Israel a natural gas exporter.