Drilling for oil in southern Israel
Drilling for oil in southern IsraelIsrael news photo: Flash 90

A survey of the natural gas field off the shore of Haifa is to be released Thursday evening in the United States. According to the Globes financial journal, the field has been discovered to be even larger than previously thought.

The field's estimated size has grown several times as more surveys are conducted. In mid-2009, Yitzchak Teshuva, controlling shareholder who invested in developing the field, originally said the gas reserves could allow Israel to be self-sufficient in energy for two decades, but now it seems that this was a conservative estimate.

Teshuva said Thursday, "The results indicate that in addition to the gas, there are signs of oil at a greater depth. We have turned Israel into a great energy power. Today is a holiday for every citizen of Israel. It's a day of joy,"  He proceeded to say the Shehecheyanu blessing for new and happy tidings. 

Partners in the project plan to make their first deliveries of gas in 2012. Companies involved in the project include Noble Energy, Delek Drilling, and Isramco.

Globes also stated that Noble Energy is planning to bring another offshore platform to Israel. The platform will be imported from the Gulf of Mexico.

A massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has left several companies unable to operate their drilling platforms in the area. For that reason, Noble Energy was able to secure a long-term lease deal for the platform at an unusually low rate.