September 16, 2009

CHOSEN AGAIN:

Israel Moves Toward Energy Independence: The huge natural gas reserves off the country's Mediterranean coast are 16% bigger than estimated just one month ago (Neal Sandler, 8/24/09, Business Week)

As CEO of Delek Drilling, an Israeli oil and gas exploration company, Zvi Greenfeld is a self-proclaimed optimist in an extremely risky business. But even Greenfeld was taken aback by the news on Aug. 11 that the huge natural gas reserves off the country's central and northern Mediterranean coast discovered by Delek and its partners in January are 16% bigger than estimated just one month ago. Independent energy experts reckon this once energy-poor country now has enough natural gas to meet its needs for the next two decades and may ultimately even transform itself into an energy exporter.

The discovery has raised hopes of further gas finds in a region that to date has been largely unexplored. Delek Drilling and its partners, Houston's Noble Energy (NBL), Avner Oil Exploration, Isramco (ISRL), and Dor Gas hold 16 additional expanses that cover 9,000 square kilometers, more than 20 times the size of the Tamar tract, which initial estimates value at $15 billion. In the near future, extensive seismic tests will be conducted to decide on additional drillings during 2010.

"The Tamar and Dalit discoveries significantly increase the probability of finding gas and/or oil in adjacent areas in the eastern Mediterranean," says Delek Drilling's Greenfeld. "If we find more gas, then there is a greater chance Israel will become an exporter."

Posted by Orrin Judd at September 16, 2009 8:09 AM
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