Noble Energy Discovers Gas Offshore Cyprus

January 10, 2012 by · 1 Comment 

HOUSTON, Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) recently announced a natural gas discovery at the Cyprus Block 12 prospect, offshore the Republic of Cyprus. The Cyprus A-1 well encountered approximately 310 feet of net natural gas pay in multiple high-quality Miocene sand intervals.

The discovery well was drilled to a depth of 19,225 feet in water depth of about 5,540 feet. Results from drilling, formation logs and initial evaluation work indicate an estimated gross resource range(1) of 5 to 8 trillion cubic feet (Tcf), with a gross mean of 7 Tcf. The Cyprus Block 12 field covers approximately 40 square miles and will require additional appraisal drilling prior to development.

Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO, said, “We are excited to announce the discovery of significant natural gas resources inCyprus on Block 12. This is the fifth consecutive natural gas field discovery for Noble Energy and our partners in the greater Levant basin, with total gross mean resources for the five discoveries currently estimated to be over 33 Tcf. This latest discovery in Cyprus further highlights the quality and significance of this world-class basin.”

Noble Energy operates the well with a 70 percent working interest. Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration will each have 15 percent, subject to final approval by the Government of Cyprus.

Threats of War over Oil in the Mediterranean

October 21, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Israel Built Sa'ar 5-class Corvette

Israel has plans to enlarge its navy as the potential of a Mediterranean war with Lebanon looms over oil.  According to an October 18 UPI report, Israel is considering adding Israeli built warships to protect the Leviathan and Tamar offshore oil and gas fields. Israel’s navy is already scheduled to receive three new German made Dolphin class submarines.

According to the UPI report, “Neighboring Lebanon, which is technically at war with Israel, claims that Leviathan, the largest field yet found, runs into its territorial waters. Israel rejects that claim. The Iranian-backed Hezbollah has threatened military action to prevent Lebanese energy reserved being ‘looted.’”

In the south, Israel also must protect its current offshore gas platforms near Gaza from potential Hamas attack.

Both Hezbollah and Hamas are reported to have acquired anti-ship missiles from Iran that could be used against Israel’s offshore drilling platforms. Additionally, terrorist groups could simply sail explosive laden boats up to the platforms and detonate their cargo.

Lebanon’s news agency, The Daily Star, reported today that, “Lebanon is gearing up for a long-term oil and gas production program although the looming diplomatic crisis with Israel over each country’s share of undersea fossil fuels threatens full-scale conflict …”

Lebanon, still technically at war with Israel, disputes the current Israeli Lebanese maritime border and claims that thousands of square kilometers of Israel’s Tamar and Leviathan gas fields are within Lebanon’s maritime ‘Exclusive Economic Zone.’ The terrorist organization Hezbollah, now an official member of Lebanon’s government and backed by Syria and Iran has vowed that it will not let Israel take possession of the offshore oil and gas fields. Hezollah leader, Seyyed Hassan Nasrallah , stated earlier this year, “Those who put a hand on the Lebanese territories that have oil assets will have their territories harmed in return.”

Israel ‘deploys drones’ over offshore gas fields

August 15, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

The "Heron" drone is pictured at the Palmahim Airbase in central Israel (AFP/File, Menahem Kahana)

AFP August 9, 2011

JERUSALEM — Israel has deployed drones to keep watch on gas fields off its northern coast, fearing attack by the Hezbollah militia from neighbouring Lebanon, the Jerusalem Post daily reported on Tuesday.

The fields lie in a part of the Mediterranean that is claimed by Israel for gas exploration and production, but Lebanon says the fields lie within its territorial waters.

“The decision to deploy drones was made in order to maintain a 24-hour presence over the site,” the paper said, adding that the air force was equipped with the locally made Heron drone, which has special electro-optics designed for maritime work.

The Israeli military would not confirm or deny the Post report to AFP.

The paper said that the air force started aerial surveillance after a warning last month from Hezbollah, which in 2006 fought a deadly war with the Jewish state in which it used anti-ship missiles.

“The Israeli enemy cannot drill a single metre in these waters to search for gas and oil if the zone is disputed… No company can carry out prospecting work in waters whose sovereignty is contested,” the Shiite group said.

The Hezbollah threat came after Israel’s cabinet approved a map of the country’s proposed maritime borders with Lebanon and submitted it to the United Nations, which has been asked to mediate in the dispute.

The map conflicts with one submitted by Lebanon to the UN last year, which gives Israel less territory.

The two countries are technically at war and will not negotiate face to face.

The disputed zone consists of about 854 square kilometres (330 square miles).

The two biggest known offshore fields, Tamar and Leviathan, lie respectively about 80 kilometres (50 miles) and 130 kilometres (81 miles) off Israel’s northern city of Haifa.

Tamar is believed to hold at least 8.4 trillion cubic feet of gas (238 billion cubic metres), while Leviathan is believed to have reserves of 16 trillion cubic feet (450 billion cubic metres).

In June an Israeli company announced the discovery of two new natural gas fields, Sarah and Mira, around 70 kilometres (45 miles) off the city of Hadera further south.

New layer of gas discovered at Tamar field off coast of Haifa

July 25, 2011 by · 2 Comments 

Deep Sea Rig at Tamar

Haaretz, ‘The Marker’ July 22, 2011

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.



Myra, Sarah drilling could start in December

July 25, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Modiin Energy’s partners previously announced that drilling would begin in January or February 2012.

24 July 11 10:44, Globes’ correspondent
Myra and Sarah license-holder Modiin Energy LP (TASE:MDIN.L) today notified the TASE that the rig for the drilling of the exploratory wells at the licenses will become available in December, after the rig completes three other wells, two in Israel and one in Cyprus.Earlier this month, Modiin Energy’s partner in the licenses, Israel Land Development Company Energy Ltd. (TASE: IE) announced that drilling of the exploratory wells by the Noble Homer Ferrington, owned by Noble Corporation (NYSE: NE) well would probably begin in January or February 2012. Today, Modiin Energy said that this rig would be available from December 1. 

The Myra and Sarah leases have a best estimate of 6.5 trillion feet of natural gas with a 54% chance of geological success, but the range between the high and low estimates are quite large.

Modiin Energy owns 19.3% of Myra and Sarah, ILDC Energy and its affiliates own 48.4%, drilling operator GeoGlobal Resources Inc. (AMEX: GGR) owns 5% through its Indian unit, Israel Petroleum Company Inc. (IPC) owns 13.1%, and Blue Water Oil and Water Exploration Ltd. owns 8.8%.

Modiin Energy’s share price fell 2.1% in morning trading today to NIS 0.046, giving a market cap of NIS 902 million, but ILDC Energy’s share price rose 2.4% to NIS 1.13, giving a market cap of NIS 932 million.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news – – on July 24, 2011


Israel’s Chief Geologist Visits US Explorers

May 27, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Last week, Israel’s chief geologist visited Houston based oil and gas explorer ATP’s Gulf of Mexico offshore drilling platform to see best offshore exploration practices for himself. Israel geologist Victor Bariudin made the trip to get an understanding of ATP’s safe and effective offshore drilling procedures and make a recommendation to his country’s Minister of National Infrastructures, Dr Uzi Landau. At the end of his drilling platform visit, Mr. Bariudin stated, “I will recommend to our minister and our staff that we use this method and to work with them.” ATP followed (also Houston based) Noble Energy into the exploration waters of offshore Israel and into the world’s largest natural gas discovery in more than a decade. Testing indicates that an offshore oil discovery isn’t far behind.

Israel’s expectation is that the recent gas discovery and the likely possibility of significant oil reserves will make the country energy independent and even an energy exporter. The economic impact of gas and oil production in Israel could be more profound to the nation’s GDP than any industry the country’s history.

Houston’s Fox affiliate captured Bariudin’s Gulf of Mexico drilling platform highlights in the video below.

Earlier this month Mr. Bariudin, Israeli Petroleum Commissioner, Dr. Michael Gardosh, and other Israeli officials visited with the managment of Zion Oil at Zion’s Caesarea, Israel offices. Zion holds the largest onshore exploration rights territory in Israel.

Israeli Oil Officials and Zion Leadership

Leviathan Discovery Opens a New Era for Israel

January 5, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

WASHINGTON, Dec. 29, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — David Wurmser, Ph.D., founder and executive member of the Delphi Global Analysis Group, LLC (Delphi), today issued the following statement regarding confimation of the Leviathan field offshore Israel as a major natural gas discovery with 16 Tcf of reserves. Delphi specializes in geopolitical risk analysis and mitigation, with a focus on energy development in Israel and throughout the Levant Basin.

“The Leviathan discovery opens a new era of natural gas development offshore Israel. 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,” said Dr. Wurmser.

“Israel is now positioned to become an exporter of natural gas. If encouraged by effective public policy, the fiscal, macroeconomic, and geo-strategic implications of developing offshore natural gas promise to rank among the most important advances in the history of the modern State of Israel.

“Accompanying a myriad of positive outcomes attached to Leviathan will be a series of serious political challenges. The temptation of excessive taxation and the internal battles over allocation of government revenue will intensify. Israel lacks energy-sector expertise and financing for large energy projects. Government officials have expressed concerns about concentrations of wealth and power in the hands of a few, as well as the impact of a stronger shekel on Israel’s export-driven economy. Policy makers, energy companies, and the financial community confront a complex and volatile political landscape,” concluded Dr. Wurmser.

Arab Murmuring Over Israeli Gas Already Begun

March 18, 2010 by · 9 Comments 

Most of the people following the story of Israel’s recent off shore gas discovery and possible onshore oil discoveries see idea of Israel as energy independent and economically prosperous as  a good thing. At least that’s the assumption. But not everyone sees Israel’s independence and prosperity as a plus – especially her neighbors.

If the Arab world views Israel (without hydrocarbon resources) as a worrisome usurper and unwelcome squatter today, an economically and energy independent Israel certainly won’t reduce fear and loathing of it’s Jewish neighbor.

It’s easy to predict an Arab response to a massively successful hydrocarbon industry in Israel. If the Jewish State is viewed as a usurper now, the natural response would be that if the land (and the sea) doesn’t belong to Israel, then neither does its natural resources. It’s an issue today; when economic quantities of oil and gas come into play it becomes the issue.

It’s no surprise that the Arab world will cry foul when Israel becomes energy independent,  I just didn’t expect to see signs of it this soon. The excerpts below are from a March 11 article in Abu Dhabi’s newspaper, ‘The National’, written by Dubai-based energy economist Robin M Mills. The piece itself sounds well written and even handed … from an Arabist perspective. The general tone of the article , unsurprisingly, paints Israel as an aggressor and exploiter of the Palestinian people. If this apparently reasonable, thoughtful Arabist response predicts political storm clouds from Israel’s oil and gas success, you can imagine what a more radical response might be.

Oil Rich Abu Dhabi Skyline

From “Israel’s new gas fields will do little for peace” by: Robin Mills

“Middle Eastern country finds large gas reserves. In our hydrocarbon-rich region, this would hardly be news, were it not for the identity of the country: Israel.
Golda Meir, the former Israeli prime minister, used to joke that Israel was the only place in the Middle East without oil. But in January last year, the US company Noble Energy found gas in the Mediterranean: not as good as oil, but a valuable second prize. More recent drilling confirms it is a giant discovery, probably just the first of several.

Suddenly, Israel can look forward to independence from energy imports, a cleaner environment, maybe even earnings from gas exports. But in this troubled region, such a bonanza is not likely to bring benefits to the Palestinians, nor peace. It may even contribute to further conflict (my emphasis) ….

In a happier situation, these discoveries would be a driver for regional economic integration. Some gas could go to energy-poor neighbours and Israel could join the Arab Gas Pipeline that runs from Egypt up to Syria, and ultimately on to Turkey and Europe.

In such an unstable area, of course, these initiatives are impossible. In reality, any significant exports would be as LNG to Europe, bringing no benefits to neighbouring states.

Tamar has ramifications far beyond business and economics. Earnings from gas would make Israel more able to resist international pressure or boycotts over human rights and peace negotiations, and to weather any reduction in US aid. A secure domestic energy source avoids the need to look to Egypt, where recent legal action has sought to block gas exports to Israel.

Palestinians will feel they have some claim on this gas, but they are unlikely to gain anything from it. The people of Gaza can feel particularly aggrieved. In 1999, the British company BG found a large field offshore Gaza, enough to provide power to all Palestinians for a decade and more, but this gas has never been developed. Indeed, the former Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon stated that Israel would never buy gas from the Palestinians because it had no intention of giving Hamas a source of revenues.

For the Israelis to exploit this gas themselves would be illegal under international law, and forbidden by the Oslo Agreement. They might have chosen to ignore the diplomatic consequences, but with the discovery at Tamar they can afford to leave Gaza’s gas lying idle indefinitely. In the meantime, Gazans face daily eight-hour electricity blackouts.

Tamar itself appears to lie within Israeli waters. However, with no peace agreement and hence border demarcation between Israel and Lebanon, there is always the possibility of new fields being uncovered in disputed areas, at a time of increasing speculation about an Israeli attempt to settle scores with Hezbollah.

… This episode is a reminder that, in themselves, oil and gas are neither a blessing nor a curse. Everything depends on what is done with them. In this troubled region, Tamar brings benefits only to Israel, and it has the tragic potential to encourage Israeli intransigence.

In the absence of real progress towards peace, gas discoveries cannot be a force for regional prosperity. In the current circumstances, the best that Israel’s neighbours can do is to try to emulate its success.

For the full article go to: