DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Noble Energy Inc. (NBL) said it made another natural gas discovery near Cyprus, building on a string of recent successes in the greater Levant basin.
The oil-and-gas explorer and its partners have now found five discoveries in the basin, which is off the coasts of Cyprus, Israel and Lebanon, as they have uncovered an estimated 33 trillion cubic feet of gas.
The newest well was drilled at a water depth of about 1 mile and about 3 1/2 miles into the ocean floor. Noble said the natural gas inside is about 5 trillion to 8 trillion cubic feet.
Noble Energy operates the well with a 70% working interest. Israel-based Delek Drilling L.P. (DEDR.L.TV) and Avner Oil Exploration L.P. (AVNR.L.TV) will each have 15%, subject to final approval by the government of Cyprus. Both companies are part of Delek Group Ltd. (DLEKG.TV).
The drilling off Cyprus ignored Turkish warnings that it would retaliate by launching its own explorations in the area. Meanwhile, Noble has already reported large natural-gas reserves at two offshore Israeli fields.
In October, Noble posted a surge in third-quarter earnings thanks to climbing oil and gas prices.
Its shares were up 0.5% at $96.10 in premarket trading. As of Tuesday's close, the stock was up 11% year to date.
-By Ben Fox Rubin, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3108; firstname.lastname@example.org