Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) announced its seventh natural gas discovery at the Karish field off the coast of Israel in the Levant basin. The Karish well is situated in the Alon C license, 20 miles northeast of the Tamar prospect and has a gross resource estimate of over 1 trillion cubic feet (Tcf).
Post this discovery, Karish is now the fifth field with a resource estimate of more than 1 Tcf. Combined with Tamar and Leviathan, the Karish option brings the new total reserve estimate to 38 Tcf in the Levant basin.
The Karish well was drilled to a total depth of 15,783 feet and is 5,700 feet below the water level. The play encountered about 184 feet of net natural gas pay in the lower Miocene sands.
Holding a 47.06% interest, Noble Energy is the major operator in the Karish complex. Israel’s Avner Oil Exploration LLP and Delek Drilling L.P. are co-operators owing 26.47% each.
Noble Energy expects discovered gross resource pooled with de-risked resources in the adjoining fault block in Alon C to be in the range 1.6 Tcf to 2.0 Tcf with mean resource estimate of around 1.8 Tcf.
The offshore Eastern Mediterranean region has been a profitable prospect and will be a key earnings driver for Noble Energy. Its Tamar play has already come online and is expected to fetch lucrative returns in the upcoming quarters.
Recently, the reserves estimate at Leviathan was revised upwards by 18.1% to 18.9 Tcf from 16 Tcf. This came as good news since exploration operators thrive on continuous resource addition. Furthermore, Noble Energy’s new exploration ventures in Nevada and its liquefied natural gas facility in Colorado will support the company’s future growth stream.
Currently, Noble Energy carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). With these heavyweight initiatives we believe Noble Energy will stand out to be an attractive stock in the U.S. oil and gas market.
Apart from Noble Energy, other exploration stocks presently on a high and carrying a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) are Abraxas Petroleum Corporation (AXAS), EPL Oil & Gas, Inc. (EPL) and Sandridge Mississippian Trust II (SDR).
Based in Houston, Texas, Noble Energy operates internationally and engages in the acquisition, exploration, development, production, and marketing of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids.
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