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Noble Energy announces significant natural gas discovery at Leviathan offshore Israel

Leviathan
Noble Energy’s Eastern Mediterranean exploration. Source: Noble Energy. Click to enlarge.

Texas-based Noble Energy, Inc. announced a significant natural gas discovery at the Leviathan exploration prospect offshore Israel. The results from the well confirm the pre-drill estimated resource range, with a gross mean for Leviathan of 16 trillion cubic feet (450 billion cubic meters). The Leviathan field is estimated to cover approximately 125 square miles (325 square kilometers) and, as a result of its size, will require two or more appraisal wells to further define total gas resources, according to Noble.

Leviathan-1, located in approximately 5,400 feet (1,645 meters) of water, is about 80 miles (130 kilometers) offshore of Haifa and 29 miles (47 kilometers) southwest of the Tamar discovery. Drilled in the Rachel license, the well encountered a minimum of 220 feet (67 meters) of net natural gas pay in several subsalt Miocene intervals. Apparent reservoir quality is very good, and the intervals discovered are geologically similar to those intersected at Tamar.

Drilling at Leviathan-1 will continue to a planned total depth of 23,600 feet (7,200 meters) to evaluate two additional intervals. Current well depth is 16,960 feet (5,170 meters). Results from the deeper tests, which have a low chance of success, are expected over the next couple of months.

Noble’s second contracted rig will arrive in the Eastern Mediterranean in early 2011 to spud a Leviathan appraisal well located 8 miles (13 kilometers) northeast of the discovery well.

Leviathan is the latest major discovery for Noble Energy and is easily the largest exploration discovery in our history. In the past two years, we and our partners have made three significant natural gas discoveries in the Levantine basin. Total gross mean resources discovered are estimated to be approximately 25 trillion cubic feet (700 billion cubic meters), with nearly 8.5 trillion cubic feet (240 billion cubic meters) net to Noble Energy’s interest. The Leviathan discovery has further confirmed our geologic models and interpretation of this basin and validates that it contains significant natural gas resources.

—Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO

Noble Energy operates Leviathan, offshore Israel, with a 39.66% working interest. Other interest owners are Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration with 22.67% each and Ratio Oil Exploration with the remaining 15%. The Noble also operates Tamar in the Matan license and Dalit in the Michal licenses with 36% working interests.

An estimated 122 trillion cubic feet (tcf) (mean estimate) of undiscovered, technically recoverable natural gas is present in the Levant Basin Province in the eastern Mediterranean region, according to a US Geological Survey (USGS) published earlier this year. Technically recoverable resources are defined as those producible by using currently available technology and industry practices.

The Levant Basin Province is comparable to some of the other large provinces around the world, and its gas resources are bigger than anything we have assessed in the United States.

—USGS Energy Resources Program Coordinator Brenda Pierce

Dr. David Wurmser, founder and executive member of the Delphi Global Analysis Group, LLC (Delphi), said that the Leviathan discovery opens a new era of natural gas development offshore Israel. Wurmser served as the senior advisor to US Vice President Dick Cheney on Middle East and Terrorism. From 2002 to 2003, Wurmser served as senior advisor to Under Secretary of State John Bolton. Delphi is a geopolitical risk analysis and mitigation firm, with a focus on energy development in Israel and throughout the Levant Basin.

Production of so large a quantity of gas relative to Israel will trigger major political changes. A resource of this magnitude will allow Israel to implement an energy policy that advances security, economic growth, and the environment. From power generation to desalination to transportation, the benefits of significant Israeli natural gas production promise to be profound.

—Dr. Wurmser

Comments

ejj

Key paragraph/quote is at the end "Production of so large a quantity of gas relative to Israel will trigger major political changes. A resource of this magnitude will allow Israel to implement an energy policy that advances security, economic growth, and the environment. From power generation to desalination to transportation, the benefits of significant Israeli natural gas production promise to be profound."

Hopefully it will mean less US aid will flow into Israel (because we can't afford to give them so much money anymore), and allows them to buy more US goods (like arms).

HarveyD

A good and fair assessment ejj. This may help Israel to survive, even if surrounded by blood thirsty millions.

danm

Assuming this comes to fruition, i'm disappointed in a way because, without any domestic energy sources, isreal was pushing the solar envelope.
With this they'll retreat back to fossil fuels. Also, any wells would become terrorist targets.

ai_vin

Any US politician who tries to reduce the amount of aid going to Israel will have to answer to the powerfull Christian Right lobby which sees Israel as the key in their "end times" prophecy.

ejj

There's a more informative post on this over at Fast Company...looks like the major finds so far, according to Fast Company, are just off the coast of the Gaza Strip, making it even more of a potential mess....

http://www.fastcompany.com/1713023/israel-cyprus-reach-agreement-on-leviathan-levant-basin-natural-gas-field-near-lebanon-and-g?

Lad

I'm glad it wasn't oil or coal and is NatGas because if they do use it for electric generation, it is much cleaner. I can see them running their war machines with products made from NatGas and not Middle Eastern oil. They already have their electric car project underway and expect to only have BEVs available as personal cars.

We, on the other hand, have been stalled by the Oil/Coal lobbists.

HarveyD

Lad....USA has major NG and SG unused reserves. We need stronger NG/SG LOBBIES to match Coal, Oil, Ethanol and Corn lobbies.

Lobbies future fights will determine what USA will do and become.

ToppaTom

Never mind the "end times" difficulty, we, the great Satan (or is it Satin), should repent anyway.

And yes, we really do need more lobbies.

ejj

Yes...America is the great Satan. America is an evil land and has done nothing but evil within its borders and around the world for 225+ years.

"No, no, no....not God bless America...God D A M N America!" - Jeremiah Wright, Barack Obama's church pastor in Chicago.

"America's chickens are coming home....to roost!" - Jeremiah Wright.

(sarcasm intended)

HarveyD

A land ran by LOBBIES and Speculators could be very efficient.

No more costly election campaigns (one inter-lobby meeting could pick the leaders in a few hours); no more free public services (users pay would apply, if you can't afford it, stay home); no more homeless (let them die quickly, they are not productive); No more expensive hospital to run (the fortunate few 5%) who could afford to be treated at $2000+/day would not need those large facilities); over 90% of existing drug stores and drug manufactures could close (only lobbies and friends could afford to buy expensive drugs); etc

How long would it take before the country starts looking like Somalia or like Middle Age countries with a new set of Kings ans Lords using other names but having similar privileges.

No, it is better to redress the situation and come back to the initial intentions of Government by the People FOR the People. The growing link between elections and $$$ has the be broken. Leaders have to be elected without interferences from internal and external $$$$.

The poor, the sick and the weak have to be treated and protected, not starved to death or have to live miserably. To do that, the rich and wealthy may have to pay more taxes not less. Large wealthy corporations may have to get less subsidies and tax credits and may have to start paying taxes. Even Warren Buffet said recently they they are not taxed enough.

Many wright wingers have gone too far and don't realize that they are driving the country in an impasse. It will soon be 1929 all over again soon unless effective changes are made. Will it be a redressed USA or the end of an era?

Arnold

I guess leaving resources in the ground as a future hedge and affirmation or belief in a future is a pipe dream when scaling up defense and living beyond the means of the planet has never yet been challenged .

"A resource of this magnitude will allow Israel to implement an energy policy that advances security, economic growth, and the environment?"

Political doublespeak.
Translation:
"Israel will use this as an opportunity to resource their expansionist philosophies."

jjaaddee

Pickens got it right. The US should be converting to clean natural gas vehicles in a BIG way. But temporary oil price drops fooled the American public again, and the economic damage, blackmail, and terrorism funded by US oil imports will just get worse.

Israel can't afford to be fooled. Israelis will implement their natural gas to enhance their security.

Dual-fuel vehicles (natural gas/petrol) will probably become very common in Israel.

I think that Israel will also construct synthetic oil plants fueled by natural gas.

Electric vehicles will likely also remain part of the Israeli strategy.

Israel will finally show us how to become immunized against the oil weapon.

ToppaTom

A land ran by LOBBIES and Speculators would a return to a modern day version of the Middle Ages.

Fewer (but all free) public services, ("How much money did you make last year ? Send it in.")

No more homeless ("You 'OWN' a paid-for house? It has been re-assigned to the deserving needy [or a bureaucrat], you greedy materialist").

No more expensive doctor or hospital visits (“If there is any room after the bureaucrats get treated. You have free Government health care, they still have private insurance. We will call you, of course, when there is an opening. Oh and tips are welcome”).


Over 90% of existing drug stores and drug manufactures would close (the government will dispense any drugs you might need, citizen).


How long would it take before the country starts looking like Russia or Cuba (today's version if Middle Age countries with Kings and Lords using other names but having similar privileges.)

Yes, it is better to redress the situation and come back to the initial intentions of Government by the People FOR the People (vs. the Government taking FROM the people).


If the Government takes more money from whatever class they choose, the rich, the middle class, the wealthy, the corporations, etc, to redistribute it, the people will just have less money, as the Government is the worst possible, most corrupt manager of money (like earmarks).

The liberals have gone too far and don't realize that they are driving the country into bankruptcy.

Back to the Leviathan NG discovery;
"A resource of this magnitude will allow Israel to implement an energy policy that advances security, economic growth, and the environment?"

I think this means that Israel can reduce costly oil imports, and consume NG in its place ( as we are doing), and thus improve their economy - no more, no less.

Ziv

Intriguing! The map above is pretty useless, but the only good map I can find is on a Gungho sort of Israeli website, but he does have the only decent map of the earlier Tamar find, and Rachel, the larger find is 47 km SW of Tamar, even further into Israeli waters. But the field itself is probably spread out over mainly Israeli but also Lebanese and Cypriot areas. I don't think it will extend past the Mari-B into the waters off of Gaza, but this really gives Israel an increasingly strong whiphand over the Arabs.
No wonder the Lebanese are screaming, first they have Israel to the south, making the desert bloom while the Lebanese are barely able to hold the Syrians at bay, let alone rebuild the healthy Lebanon of the past. Now Israel has an economy that is growing like gangbusters already, and you add in a find that rivals the North Sea. I think Iran will have to try to nuke Israel within 3 or 4 years or Israel will be so far ahead of the region that it will be impossible for the Arabs or Iran to keep up.

http://hashmonean.com/2010/06/16/future-war-israels-massive-natural-gas-reserve-discoveries-draw-enemy-eyes/

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