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Israel's natural gas reserve grows

JERUSALEM, July 8 (UPI) -- A U.S. oil company drilling for natural gas off Israel's shores said the reserve appears to be far greater than initially estimated.

Israeli media reports Wednesday said after drilling at the Tamar 2 site off the Haifa coast, Nobel Energy Inc. estimated the reserves were 25 percent to 30 percent greater than the initial assessment.

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The Jerusalem Post estimated the site may hold as much as 180 billion cubic meters, and said potential revenues from gas sales could stand at $30 billion to $35 billion.

Tamar is a joint Israeli-U.S. venture, Haaretz said, and quoted Yitzhak Tshuva, the owner of the Israeli Delek company involved in the deal. Tshuva told Army Radio the recent find means Israel will no longer have to depend on others.

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