Noble Energy delays Leviathan oil drilling

March 15, 2011 by  

Noble Energy's Mediterranean Offshore Licenses

Since its massive natural gas discovery in the Leviathan field offshore of Israel, Noble Energy has suspected that commercial oil reserves may lie beneath the gas find. Plans to begin oil drilling in Leviathan’s two lowest strata have been delayed for a month due to technical concerns.

In a March 11 interview with Israeli news agency Haaretz, Epsilon Investment House energy analyst Ron Alkon stated, “A month’s postponement of the results isn’t, in itself, a sign that there is no oil. Since it is almost without precedent to be drilling for oil at these depths, and to avoid environmental problems and other possible malfunctions, they are taking their time to be prudent. It shows that there is still a considerable chance of finding oil. Just the fact that they intend to invest an additional $40 million in advance shows that the possibility is there.”

The Haaretz article continues:

“Drilling from the Sedco Express platform at Leviathan 1 has reached a depth of 5,100 meters – to the first layer of sand where advanced geological testing was performed in discovering natural gas.

“The next stage is drilling 700 meters further, to the layer geologically referred to as the Lower Oligocene Age, where Noble estimates an average economic potential for usable oil reserves of about 3 billion barrels at a geological probability of 17%.

“After this stage the partners intend to drill deeper still to test another prospect at a depth of 7,200 meters. Here Noble estimated the economic potential at equivalent to 1.2 billion barrels of oil, but at a mere 8% probability.”

Noble’s oil exploration drilling into these strata is expected to commence in early May.


3 Responses to “Noble Energy delays Leviathan oil drilling”

  1. Ian Moon on March 15th, 2011 3:05 pm

    Sir, With the depth you talking about, I know you still have fresh in mind the problem in the Gulf of Mexico. That too was at a great depth and apparently the material (solenoids?) were not up to the job. Just be very careful what you are doing and make sure that all material and workmanship is of the highest standards possible. Wishing you all the best, Shalom Ian.

  2. sspillman on March 24th, 2011 6:26 am

    The Gulf of Mexico disaster was a huge lesson for everyone, Noble and Israel included. That’s why Noble is taking its time before beginning drilling. It’s better to be a few months behind schedule and safe.

  3. sue delaney on March 26th, 2011 3:58 pm

    dear sir can one invest in Noble energy for Israel?

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