The Delek group, along with its partner, Avner Oil Exploration Ltd., on Sunday morning informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange that it was preparing to drill another exploratory well in the Mediterranean. According to geological surveys, the companies said, there was a 70% chance that some 2 trillion cubic feet of natural gas were located underground at the “Karish” (“Shark”) drilling site, off the coast of Nahariya.
The site was previously unexplored, and is not connected to the other large fields being explored and drilled by Delek, Avner, and Noble Energy, which are working in the Tamar and Leviathan gas fields. Between those two fields, Israel already has an estimated 9 trillion cubic feet of gas, enough to ensure Israel's energy independence for decades, experts said.
The group also holds the license for the Yam Thetis exploration site.
The estimated 2 trillion cubic feet of gas is, nevertheless, a substantial and important find, especially as an encouragement to investors to continue exploring for natural resources off Israel's coast, and on land. According to experts, investors had grown somewhat wary of claims of large gas finds in the Mediterranean, after several highly touted sites – such as the Sara drilling site – came up dry.