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Gas Drilling Begins Off Coast Near Hadera

Noble Energy has begun drilling at a new site off the coast of Hadera, where it hopes to find more natural gas. It has already found a vast supply.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 3/8/2009, 3:23 PM

The company which discovered abundant gas reserves off the coast of Haifa in January has begun drilling in a new site, west of Hadera.

Noble Energy Inc., the Houston-based partner of Isramco Ltd., Delek Group Ltd., and Avner Oil and Gas LP, said the new offshore well, named Dalit-1, is located approximately 60 kilometers west of Hadera.

The company moved its rig on the ship "Atwood Hunter" to the new drill site on Friday after having completed drilling at the Tamar-1 well 90 kilometers west of Haifa. The Tamar-1 find was eventually discovered to be more than 60 percent larger than originally estimated, according to Noble Energy officials -- reportedly more than enough to fuel the State of Israel for at least 15 years.

The drilling is expected to last approximately two months and cost $130 million, company officials said. Once drilling is completed at Dalit-1, the "Atwood Hunter" will proceed to the next well, dubbed Tamar-2.

There is a 40 percent chance the company will find commercial quantities of up to 20 billion cubic meters of natural gas at the site, referred to as the Michal prospect, according to the Globes business news agency.