Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration say there is 11 percent more natural gas in Leviathan field than originally estimated, bringing the evaluation from 17 trillion cubic feet to 19 trillion • Delek CEO says potential greater than Tzemach committee estimated.
Natural gas exploration partners Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration announced on Wednesday that the Leviathan field has significantly more natural gas than previously estimated. The companies said that Leviathan, a natural gas field located in the Mediterranean Sea off the Haifa coast, contains 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, which is 11 percent higher than their original estimate of 17 trillion.
In addition to gas, Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration announced that the Tamar field could yield about 13 million barrels of natural-gas condensate, one of the raw materials used by the petrochemicals industry to refine fuels. Leviathan may contain as much as 34 million barrels of condensate, up 54% from their original estimate of 22 million barrels, the partners said. The price of condensate is much higher than natural gas and closer to the price of Brent crude, which currently trades near $100 per barrel.
"This is proof of the Israeli gas industry's might, so we have to maintain momentum," said Delek Drilling Chairman and Avner Oil Exploration CEO Gideon Tadmor on Thursday. "The Tzemach committee said it would take many years to get to where Israel has already arrived today. Israel's energy security is getting stronger. Adopting the Tzmeach committee's conclusions will allow us to launch more exploratory drilling and expand Israel's natural gas reserves."
Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu said, "The update at Leviathan and Tamar, along with more discoveries and exploratory drilling at the 'Karish' field -- which is being worked on as we speak -- indicates that Israel's natural gas potential is larger than the Tzemach committee had estimated."
"Israel has already become a byword in the global gas and oil industries, and we must press on to become one of the world's top gas exporters," he said.
Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom on Wednesday said, "I congratulate the [drilling] partners on the good news. An increased supply of gas from [Israel's] reserves will enable us, on the one hand, to supply more gas to the domestic market and, on the other hand, to export, which will bring in more revenue that we can then invest in Israeli citizens." IH