Signs of Natural Gas in Shimshon 1 Drill

Exploratory well at Shimshon site off Ashkelon yields "substantial signs" of natural gas.

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Gil Ronen,

Gas rig in the Mediterranean
Gas rig in the Mediterranean
Israel news photo: Flash 90

Isramco Ltd. announced Sunday that "substantial signs of petroleum (natural gas) have been found at the Shimshon 1 exploratory well," according to Globes.

Isramco said that the well reached the target strata at 4,400 meters under sea level. The partners invested in the well have decided to go ahead with production tests, which are due to begin in a few days' time, and to last 35 days.

The Shimshon drilling prospect stretches out over 400 square kilometers of the Mediterranean Sea, about 92 kilometers away from the Israeli coast opposite Ashkelon. The size of the reservoir is less than a quarter of the Tamar discovery.

Globes noted that if Shimshon is found to be commercial, it will be Israel's first large natural gas offshore discovery in which Noble Energy and Delek Group are not partners. Isramco and its affiliates own 60% of Shimshon and well operator ATP Oil & Gas Corporation owns 40%.

Isramco's share price rose 3% in early trading Sunday.

Noble and Delek announced a gas discovery in the Tanin prospect earlier this year.