Noble Energy lines up two rigs for Leviathan

Delek Group has issued an update on the proposed drilling program for the deepwater Leviathan 1 well offshore Israel.

Offshore staff

TEL AVIV -- Delek Group has issued an update on the proposed drilling program for the deepwater Leviathan 1 well offshore Israel.

Last week, Noble Energy Mediterranean, operator of the Ratio-Yam licenses (Rachel, Amit, Hannah, David, and Eran), presented the partners with a final budget and plan for drilling the exploration well using the Sedco Express.

Leviathan 1 is scheduled to be drilled in October on the Rachel license, about 135 km (84 mi)) west of Haifa in a water depth of 1,634 m (5,361 ft).

The main objective of the well will be a gas target in Tertiary - Oligocene age sands (the equivalent sand layer identified during drilling of the Tamar well as NG10 to an overall depth of 5,095 m (16,716 ft).

Based on interpretation of seismic data, Noble estimates gross unrisked mean resources in the NG10 target at around 16 tcf (453 bum), with a 50% geologic probability of finding hydrocarbons.

After completing electric logs and other evaluations, the well will be deepened to compile engineering and geological information for two secondary drilling objectives. These are:

1. Leviathan Lower Oligocene Prospect. This is a Lower Oligocene prospect in a total depth of 5,800 m (19,029 ft), including water depth. Noble estimates gross unrisked mean resources at 3 Bboe, but due to the paucity of available data at this level, the geologic probability of finding hydrocarbons here is put at 17%.

2. Leviathan Lower Cretaceous Prospect. The partners plan to deepen drilling to Lower Cretaceous layers, to a depth of around 7,200 m (23,622 ft), including water depth. Potential oil or gas resources in this target are 1.2 Bboe, but with only an 8% chance of a discovery.

Drilling of Leviathan should take around five months. According to Delek, it will be in the deepest water depth plumbed to date off the coast of Israel.

In light of the limited data concerning pressure, reservoir, and hydrocarbon source conditions at the depths of the secondary targets, or due to other technical considerations, the rig may be replaced by the Pride North America for drilling of the deeper section.

The Sedco Express should in any case complete drilling for the Tamar development after finishing its job on Leviathan 1.

Delek adds that should the Early Cretaceous layers prove to be lower than anticipated, it may prove to be impossible to finish drilling of the deeper targets with either of these rigs due to technical limitations.

Once the program has been completed, and in the event of a discovery, the partners may opt for production tests using the Pride North America.

The approved drilling budget for the well is $150 million, including mobilization costs. But this figure does not take into account production tests, which would need to be approved in a separate budget.

08/30/2010

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