JERUSALEM, Jan. 4 (UPI) -- Israeli and Norwegian energy companies said they encountered a significant amount of natural gas in an offshore Israeli field.
Norwegian energy company AGR said it encountered "significant signs of natural gas" during drilling operations in the Aphrodite-2 exploration well in the offshore Ishai license block. The well encountered a gas layer of 49 feet, the Platts news service reports.
Partner energy company Israel Opportunity said it would likely be late February before it can delineate the full extent of the find. The license area is said to contain about 3.7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, reports Platts.
Drilling at the Aphrodite well, about 100 miles offshore from Haifa, began in December.
Israel aims to ease dependence on Egyptian natural gas through offshore reserves. The recent inauguration of the giant offshore Tamar natural gas field was said to mark the beginning of the country's energy independence.