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Major new gas field found off Israel's Mediterranean coast

15/12/2014 by Sharon Shahzad


The field is estimated to hold about 3.2 trillion cubic feet of gas, making it third-largest in the region

Israel, a fast-emerging natural gas power, may soon increase its reservoirs.

A seismic survey of a new natural gas field off Israel's Mediterranean coast indicates it may hold between 1.9 and 5 trillion cubic feet of gas, with 3.2 tcf (90 billion cubic meters) the best estimate, according to a statement made by the two companies controlling it, Ratio Oil and Israel Opportunity Energy Resources.

The Royee field, located about 150 kilometers offshore, could therefore be the third-largest in Israeli waters and fourth-largest in the Mediterranean basin.

"At the national level, the news means a lot. We have learned that the Levantine basin holds reservoirs at other depths and I hope the next government will exploit the opportunity," said Eyal Shuker, CEO of Israel Opportunity. However, economists cited by the Times of Israel said the Royee gas field may not be extracted in the near future because the "veteran" fields Leviathan and Tamar, still have much gas remaining in them.

For the time being, however, the announcement did not cause a significant stir at the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. The shares of Israel Opportunity closed up just 3.4% and Ratio rose only 1.1%. A possible reason is the sharp worldwide drop in petroleum prices, which also influences the price of natural gas.

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