Gas Discovery Already the Bright Spot in Israel’s Economy

February 18, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

One bright spot in Israel’s financial markets. Today Israel’s Haaretz news organization posted a fairly bleak story on Israel’s financial markets. ( 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,

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, )

5. Dor Gas Exploration: 4 percent (Yakum, Israel)

Haifa Gas Discovery Bumped to 5 Trillion Cubic Feet

February 10, 2009 by · 4 Comments 

News of last month’s natural gas discovery off the coast of Haifa just keeps getting better. Noble Energy announced today, that after flow testing of the Tamar well, they’ve increased potential natural gas production in the Tamar from 3.1 trillion cubic feet, originally estimated, to 5 trillion cubic feet. That’s a production rate of 30 – 150 million cubic feet per day!
Noble has already decided to keep the Atwood Hunter offshore drilling rig for two additional wells.
Noble Energy’s latest announcement is below:
HOUSTON, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ — Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) announced today flow test results from the Tamar natural gas discovery in the Matan license, offshore Israel. As previously reported, the Tamar #1 well, located in approximately 5,500 feet of water and drilled to a total depth of 16,076 feet, encountered more than 460 feet of net pay in three high-quality reservoirs. Testing procedures, which were performed over a limited 59-foot section of the lowest reservoir, yielded a flow rate of 30 million cubic feet per day (Mmcf/d) of natural gas. The flow rate was limited by testing equipment available on the rig. Performance modeling indicates the well can be ultimately completed to achieve a production rate of over 150 Mmcf/d.

The pre-drill gross mean resource potential for Tamar was originally estimated at 3.1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of natural gas. Immediately following discovery, we estimated the gross resource potential to be at least equal to the pre-drill mean estimate. After analysis of all the post-drill and production test data, the estimated gross mean resource potential of Tamar has now been increased to 5 Tcf.

The Company and its partners have elected to keep the Atwood Hunter, a semi-submersible drilling rig, offshore Israel for two additional wells. Subsequent to operations at the Tamar #1 well, the drilling rig will proceed to the Dalit exploration prospect in the Michal license. Dalit has a pre-drill gross mean resource of about 700 billion cubic feet of natural gas with an approximate 40 percent chance of success. Located in 4,500 feet of water and 28 miles offshore, the well has a proposed total depth of about 12,500 feet. Immediately after concluding operations at Dalit, the rig will be relocated to Tamar where it will drill an appraisal well to further define the resources of the structure.

Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman, President and CEO, said, “The test results from the Tamar well confirm our initial analysis that the discovered reservoirs are very high quality. This discovery is clearly of a size for commercial development. We hope to extend the success in Israel by testing Dalit, our second prospect which is already covered by 3D. Discussions with our various partners are currently ongoing with plans to potentially conduct new seismic over our additional leads on other licenses in the area. Each incremental piece of information gathered is critically important as we continue to learn more about the potential of the Tamar discovery and this highly under-explored region. The implications of this discovery to Israel, Noble Energy, and our partners cannot be overstated, and we all have committed significant resources to better understand its scale and scope.”

Noble Energy operates both the Matan and Michal licenses with a 36 percent working interest. Other interest owners are Isramco Negev 2 with 28.75 percent, Delek Drilling with 15.625 percent, Avner Oil Exploration with 15.625 percent and Dor Gas Exploration with the remaining four percent.

Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. The Company operates primarily in the Rocky Mountains, Mid-Continent, and deepwater Gulf of Mexico areas in the United States, with key international operations offshore Israel, UK and West Africa. Noble Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL. Visit Noble Energy online at

Israel Discovers Huge Natural Gas Field

January 18, 2009 by · 7 Comments 

“They shall call the people unto the mountain; there they shall offer sacrifices of righteousness: for they shall suck of the abundance of the seas, and of treasures hid in the sand.”

(Deuteronomy 33:19)

 Hunter Rig Currently Drilling at Tamar #1 SiteNoble Energy (see my earlier post: has discovered “three massive gas fields” just off the coast of Haifa. This field is much richer, the natural gas reservoirs much larger than Noble energy expected. This find alone could be enough natural gas to power Israel’s electrical plants and supply it’s commercial and domestic natrual gas needs for the foreseeable future – and still with enough for export to other countries. Yitzhak Tshuva, owner of the Delek Group Ltd, a partner in the Tamar #1 well, called the discovery “one of the biggest in the world,” promising that the find would present a historic land mark in the economic independence of Israel.

The Jerusalem Post and many other news organizations announced the discovery to the people of Israel and to the world this morning. Below are excerpts of the JP article you can read it in its entirety at

Jerusalem Post Sunday January 18, 2009

Three massive  gas reservoirs have been discovered 80 kilometers off the Haifa coast, at the Tamar prospect, Noble Energy Inc. announced on Sunday.

The Tamar -1 well, located in approximately 5,500 feet of water, was drilled to a total depth of 16,076 feet. The thickness and quality of the reservoirs found were greater than anticipated at the location.

Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s chairman, president and CEO, said in an announcement that his company was “extremely excited by the results. This is one of the most significant prospects that we have ever tested and appears to be the largest discovery in the company’s history.”

Speaking on Army Radio Sunday morning, an exhilarated Yitzhak Tshuva, owner of the Delek Group Ltd, one of the owners of the well, called the discovery “one of the biggest in the world,” promising that the find would present a historic land mark in the economic independence of Israel.

“I have no doubt that this is a holiday for the State of Israel. We will no longer be dependent [on foreign sources] for our gas, and will even export. We are dealing with inconceivably huge quantities; Israel now has a solution for the future generations,” Tshuva added.

An ecstatic Infrastructures Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer said before the weekly cabinet meeting that the discovery was a “historic” one and could “change the face of Israeli industry.”

Production testing at Tamar will be performed after the well is completed. Noble Energy and its partners may keep the rig to drill up to two additional wells in the basin. Pending positive test results, one well could be an appraisal at Tamar.

Noble Energy operates the well with a 36 percent working interest. Other interest owners in the well are Israeli companies Isramco Negev 2, Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Dor Gas Exploration.

Following the announcement of the discover, shares of Delek Drilling jumped up 80%, while shares of Isramco Negev 2 skyrocketed by an unprecedented 120 percent.