Noble sticks to Leviathan natural gas estimates offshore Israel

By Phaedra Friend Troy

In a release Friday, US-based independent Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE:NBL) reaffirmed its estimate of the Leviathan exploratory prospect and chance of discovery offshore Israel

The company confirmed that total gross resources for the Leviathan prospect are estimated to contain 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and the company has a 50 percent chance of success there. 

Noble plans to spud the Leviathan exploration well in the fourth quarter of 2010. 

The operator of the Mari-B field, the first natural gas production facility offshore Israel, Noble has been operating in the Mediterranean Sea since 1998. The Mari-B started production in 2004. 

In 2009, the Noble-operated Tamar natural gas discovery was the largest gas discovery in the world that year. Tamar contains some 8.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and project sanction is expected later in 2010, followed first production at Tamar in 2012. 

3D seismic obtained in late 2009 helped Noble to identify some 30 trillion cubic feet of natural gas potential in a number of prospects, including Leviathan.

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