Noble Energy starts drilling Hanna license off Israel

Noble Energy Inc. and its Israel partners, Delek Group subsidiaries, spudded the Dolphin-1 exploratory natural gas prospect on the Hanna license off Israel’s Mediterranean coast.

The partners are Delek Drilling LP and Avner Oil & Gas LP. Noble Energy is using Transocean Ltd.’s Sedco Express semisubmersible on the Hanna license.

The Sedco Express was working the Tamar license, and the semi was moved to the Hanna license while its blowout preventer undergoes routine service. The Hanna license work does not require a BOP, the Israeli partners reported.

After completing first phase work of a two-phase program on the Hanna licenses, the Sedco Express rig is expected to be returned to the Tamar license.

Seismic survey results indicated a 73% probability of finding gross natural gas reserves of 550.5 bcf in the Hanna license, the Tel Aviv stock exchange notice said.

Noble Energy holds a 39.66% stake in the Hanna license, Delek Drilling and Avner 27.67% each, and Ratio Oil Exploration 15%.

Off Cypress, Noble Energy plans to drill an exploration well starting during the fourth quarter, executives said during a second-quarter earnings conference call.

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