18 January 2009

Got gas

Israel`s largest-ever reserve of natural gas discovered off Haifa coast

Isramco announced Sunday that "extremely significant" reserves of natural gas have been discovered at its Tamar 1 offshore drill site 90 kilometers west of Haifa.

The natural gas reserve is the largest ever discovered in Israel - three times bigger than that of the "Yam Thetis" consortium and worth $15 billion.

"Subject to receipt of further data from the drill site, the estimated reserves of natural gas are likely even to increase," the company said in a statement.

Tamar is a joint venture between the U.S. company Noble Energy (36%), Isramco (28.9%), Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas Exploration. It is named after the grand-daughter of geologist Yossi Langotsky.

Drilling is difficult: the sea floor is 1,700 meters below the surface of the water and under the sand is a 1,400-meter thick stratum of salt. The drill at the Tamar 1 permit site reaches 5,000 meters below sea level.

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