HOUSTON, May 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Noble Energy, Inc. (NYSE: NBL) today announced that the Leviathan deep well offshore Israel has reached a depth of approximately 21,400 feet, the deepest known penetration in the Levant Basin. High well pressure and the mechanical limits of the wellbore design resulted in the suspension of drilling operations before the primary objective was reached.
Over the course of deepening the Leviathan #1 well, the Company and its partners have obtained valuable geologic and engineering data about the basin. At approximately 21,000 feet, the well encountered a zone where natural gas was detected. The composition of the natural gas was heavier than discovered in the shallower intervals and suggests a thermogenic source. Additionally, at total depth of 21,400 feet, higher pressure was encountered indicating the possibility of an overlying seal.
Susan M. Cunningham, Noble Energy's Senior Vice President of Exploration and Business Innovation, commented, "Although the well did not reach the planned objective, we are encouraged by the possibility of an active thermogenic petroleum system at greater depths within this basin. We will integrate the data from the Leviathan deep well into our model to update our analysis and design a drilling plan specifically to test the deep oil concept. Part of the plan will be to secure a rig with the capabilities necessary to reach the target objective."
Cunningham went on to say, "Based on the information received to date, we continue to believe there is potential for significant oil resources in this prospect and the basin."
The Homer Ferrington rig is scheduled to remain on location at the #1 well to conduct a production flow test of the previously discovered natural gas sands at Leviathan.
Noble Energy operates Leviathan in the Rachel and Amit licenses offshore Israel with a 39.66 percent working interest. Other interest owners are Delek Drilling and Avner Oil Exploration with 22.67 percent each and Ratio Oil Exploration with the remaining 15 percent.
Noble Energy is a leading independent energy company engaged in worldwide oil and gas exploration and production. The Company has core operations onshore in the U.S., primarily in the DJ Basin and Marcellus Shale, in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico, offshore Eastern Mediterranean, and offshore West Africa. Noble Energy is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and is traded under the ticker symbol NBL. Further information is available at www.nobleenergyinc.com.
This news release contains certain "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.