Amount of natural gas and economic implications of discovery at Mediterranean Sea site yet to be determined.
A deeper layer of natural gas has been discovered at the Tamar field, off the coast of Haifa, according to a report published on Thursday by Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration.
The impact of the newly discovered reserve has not yet been analyzed nor released in full. The significance of the newly discovered structure will depend on the amount of natural gas at Tamar and on the estimations of additional layers in other areas of the Mediterranean Sea that have not yet been discovered.
The new reserve, ‘Layer D’, was discovered beneath ‘Tamar 3′, and is said to be up to 25 meters wide.
According to the report, Noble Energy – the American partner leading the consortium – is gathering data on Layer D and analyzing the implications of the extent of the reserves at Tamar. It is currently not possible to determine the size and economic implications of the newly discovered reserve.
Noble owns 36% of Tamar, while Isramco Negev owns 28.75% and Delek Group, controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva, has a 31% percent stake through two units with equal shares of 15.6% each, Avner Oil Exploration and Delek Drilling.
The Tamar site is the largest natural gas discovery in Israel and plans on selling natural gas to Israel in 2013.
The Lebanese proposal of its maritime border with Israel that is currently under dispute does not include the Tamar and Leviathan gas prospects.
One bright spot in Israel’s financial markets. Today Israel’s Haaretz news organization posted a fairly bleak story on Israel’s financial markets. (http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/1065141.html) Nothing new in that; stories of down markets are the daily fare in the midst of our worldwide economic meltdown. There was, however a bright spot (brilliant bright!) “Isramco, a main partner in the Tamar-1 exploration that found the huge field of gas off the Haifa shore, exploded upwards again, closing 24% higher on huge turnover of NIS 90 million.” Stock value in Delek Group, also a partner in the Tamar-1 gas discovery, has more than doubled in the last two months. Could Israel’s massive gas discovery (and possibly and oil discovery in the near future) play a major role in saving Israel’s economy? It looks like it already is. Just so you know, here are the partners in the Tamar -1:
Who all is involved in Israel’s offshore gas discovery? Just so you know, here are the partners in the Tamar -1:
1. Noble Energy: 36 percent (Houston, TX, ticker symbol: NBL – NYSE, http://www.nobleenergyinc.com)
2. Isramco Negev: 28.75 percent (Petach Tikvah, Israel, ticker symbol: ISRA.L – TLV)
3. Avner Oil Exploration: 15.625 percent (Petach Tikvah, Israel, ticker symbol: AVNR.L – TLV)
4. Delek Drilling: 15.625 percent (Netanya, Israel, ticker symbol: DEDR.L –TLV, http://www.delek.co.il )
5. Dor Gas Exploration: 4 percent (Yakum, Israel)
Back in August we reported on oil exploration efforts in the Judean Reserve of southern Israel. It looks like the Ginko/Delek/Avner partnership has past a final hurdle with the state of Israel. Environmental concerns on Reserve land have been the primary issue in delaying exploration approval.
Below is the November 6 Jerusalem Post article. The original article can be viewed at http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull&cid=1225910056665.
Exploratory drilling for oil in Judean Desert passes final hurdle
The Council of National Parks and Nature Reserves on Thursday approved exploratory drilling for oil in the Judean Desert Nature Reserve, where three companies – Ginko Oil Exploration, Delek Energy Systems, and Avner – believe there could be as much as 6.5 million barrels’ worth.
Drilling for oil in the Judean Desert was approved yesterday by the Council of National Parks and Nature Reserves.
The companies believe that Zuk Tamrur 4, just north of Route 31 from Arad to the Dead Sea, is the best chance Israel has to find oil. That many barrels of oil, while not enough to power the country for more than a month, would be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Photo: Ariel Jerozolimski
The council’s okay followed approval by the Nature and Parks Authority’s (NPA) Assembly, its highest governing body. The 23-member council advises the Environmental Protection Ministry and the NPA on matters of policy. It includes government, environmental, academic and public representatives.
Ginko director Rami Karmin told The Jerusalem Post Thursday that the drilling, the equipment and environmental requirements would cost between $5 million and $7m.
Hebrew University Institute of Earth Sciences Raymond F. Kravis Professor of Geology (Emeritus) Zvi Garfunkel told the Post Thursday that the fact that oil had been found previously could mean there was more.
“In previous drillings, they found a little bit of oil. Indeed, this is Zuk Tamrur 4. There might be a larger reservoir [around there]. But drilling companies usually keep the results of their surveys private,” he said. “There is no smoke without fire, but how big the smoke is and how big the fire is – only the companies know.”
The Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel (SPNI) vehemently opposed the decision because of its potential impact on the reserve’s fragile ecosystem.
“The state’s institutions are obligated to protect the open spaces, the nature reserves, and most certainly such a special reserve like the Judean Desert, where biodiversity and an ecological system exist almost in their entirety. Therefore we are distressed that this was the decision reached,” Shai Tachnai, SPNI’s southern district coordinator for the preservation of nature, said in a statement.
SPNI quoted the representative of the National Infrastructures Ministry saying at the meeting Thursday morning that there was a 15-percent chance of finding oil below the reserve.
“In the last decade, we have brought about a revolution and turned the Negev and the Judean Desert from a land of quarries to a land of machteshim (erosion craters) and natural attractions. A 15% chance of finding oil does not justify the irreversible damage expected to occur,” Tachnai said.
Regarding that number, Karmin said the companies had never published such an assessment, but “we are optimistic.”
While SPNI protested, the NPA and Environmental Protection Ministry’s representatives voted in favor of the drilling Thursday. During the negotiations for approval from the NPA’s assembly, it was agreed that if oil were found, the pumping would take place from outside the reserve and the companies would rehabilitate any damage caused.
To test for oil, the companies would drill a 2,000-meter hole over 1.25 acres.
Delek Energy Systems and Avner are both controlled by Yitzhak Tshuva.