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More natural gas found offshore Israel

May 17, 2013 at 5:47 AM

TEL AVIV, Israel, May 17 (UPI) -- There are strong indications that there's more natural gas than estimated off the coast of Israel near the giant Leviathan field, a U.S.-Israel group declared.

Noble Energy, which has headquarters in Texas, and its drilling partners from Israel, Avner Oil Exploration and Delek Drilling, said there are "significant signs" of natural gas at its Karish-1 license area in the eastern waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

Delek suggested the thickness of the natural gas discovery makes it's a commercial prospect, though not the size of the nearby Tamar field, with an estimated 10 billion cubic feet of natural gas, or the much larger Leviathan prospect.

Delek Chairman and Avner Chief Executive Officer Gideon Tadmor told The Jerusalem Post the energy security of Israel is growing with each new discovery offshore.

"This is proof of the power of the Israeli gas industry and of the great gas potential that exists off the coast of Israel, and we must keep up the momentum," he said.

Israeli authorities are debating how much of the offshore natural gas to export. Tamar is slated for domestic use, while Leviathan could service both domestic and foreign markets.

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