Israel Discovers New Gas Field

Article Summary
Noble Energy has announced the discovery of a new gas field, the Dragon 1, off the coast of Israel. The site is valued in the billions of dollars. Helmi Moussa reports.

The US Noble Energy Corporation, partner of Delek [the Israel Fuel Corporation] in [the Israeli natural] gas fields of Yam Tatis, Tamar, Dalit and Leviathan, has announced that it has discovered a new maritime gas field called Dragon 1.

Noble Energy has declared to the Israeli Stock Exchange that it has discovered vital signs indicating that this new field contains natural gas [reserves]. The company estimations had indicated the potential existence of significant oil quantities in this field, ranging from 1.2 to 1.3 trillion cubic feet.

Should these estimations prove to be true, this field will be moderate in size compared to the two fields of Tamar (8 trillion cubic feet) and Leviathan (17 trillion cubic meters). Still, it will be 20% larger than the Yam Tatis field, which has been ensuring about 20% of the Israel Electric Company’s power plant supply for the past seven years. Thus, the financial value of the field is estimated in the billions of dollars.

The Dragon 1 field is located in the north-west of the Leviathan field, near the exclusive economic zone of Cyprus, but it does not extend to it. According to the data, Dragon 1 is located in the Israeli maritime lien called "Alon A" and its oil is estimated at 62%.

Israel has highlighted the fact that although the new field is closer to the economic zone of Lebanon, it does not fall within the disputed area between the two countries. Noble Energy has announced this discovery based on an excavation 5,523 meters deep, which revealed that the layer containing gas is around 40 meters thick.

According to the Israeli data, oil-gas stock in the Dragon 1 site is divided into two layers called Sand A and Sand B.

Although Delek and Noble Energy will start marketing gas from the Tamar field in 2013, there are disputes over this gas between the Israeli Government and the power plant. The large Leviathan field is expected to start producing [oil] at the end of the decade.

Following the discovery of gas [reserves] in this field, the process of consolidating and protecting the drilling hole has begun in order to facilitate the subsequent examination process (wire line logging), which includes seismic, electric and magnetic examination as well as an assessment of the composition of natural gas, rocks and fluids in the field.

The Ensco 5006 drilling platform, formerly known as the Pride North America, carried out the excavations at the Dragon 1 site two month after having completed excavation operations at the Dolphin 1 site. After determining the content, excavating companies have found that it is economically feasible to develop the field.

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