Energy bonanza found offshore

Giant oil and natural gas reserves discovered 24 kilometers from Tel Aviv beach

Ilan Ben Zion is an AFP reporter and a former news editor at The Times of Israel.

A deep-sea oil-drilling rig. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)
A deep-sea oil-drilling rig. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

Large quantities of oil and natural gas were discovered off the coast of Tel Aviv, Modiin Energy and Adira Energy Corporation announced on Tuesday. 

The find, called the Gabriella field, is 24 kilometers off shore in shallow water. “At a time of soaring oil prices, this is good news… for the Israeli economy, which is trying to diversify its energy sources,” Haim Gavrieli, CEO of IDB Holding Corp. Ltd., the parent company of Modiin, told Globes.

Modiin intends to start drilling by late 2012 and will produce and market the oil in Israel.

Three-dimensional seismic surveys proved the Gabriella site and the nearby Yitzhak area could potentially yield as much as 232.2 million barrels of oil, 128.4 million barrels from Gabriella alone, Globes reported. The Gabriella and Yitzhak licenses could also yield up to 1.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

Since 2010, an estimated 25 trillion cubic feet of natural gas reserves have been discovered in two other fields, the Tamar and the Leviathan, off the coast. Despite years of searching and drilling, however, no commercially viable quantities of oil have been found until now.


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