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    Noble Posts Record 1Q Israel Sales


US Noble Energy has reported bumper US and Israel production volumes, while Lebanon has prequalified well-known firms for its planned offshore licensing round.

by: Mark Smedley

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Noble Posts Record 1Q Israel Sales

US independent Noble Energy said May 1 that 1Q US and Israel production volumes were “all at or exceeding the top end of its guidance.” Elsewhere in the Near East, Lebanon has pre-qualified some well-known Russian and other explorers to take part in its planned first offshore licensing round.

Noble set a record for 1Q Israel sales volumes of 274mn ft³/d, despite its divestment of a 3.5% Tamar stake in 4Q 2016, while Tamar gross field sales were 956mn ft³/d, more than 12% above the 1Q 2016 figure.

The company began exporting gas from Israel for the first time to industrial customers in Jordan. In 1Q 2017, it also completed the Tamar 8 development well, further supporting the field's long-term deliverability. The well began producing in early April and is “performing as expected”, said Noble.

It also sanctioned the Leviathan project in 1Q, with first gas due end-2019. Development activities and project spend have begun, it said May 1, with drilling underway on two production wells – out of the four capable of 1.2bn ft³/d that are included in Leviathan’s first phase. Initial Leviathan proven reserves are anticipated to be recorded in 2017 at some 3.3 trillion ft³ (550mn barrels of oil equivalent) net.

In Equatorial Guinea, Noble executed a unitisation agreement with the partners of Block D over the Alba production sharing contract in April, reducing Noble’s Alba interest to 33% from 35%.

Average realised gas prices were stable internationally at $5.32/'000 ft³ in Israel though still only $0.27 in Equatorial Guinea. In the US, they were $3.45/mn Btu onshore (up 83% year on year) and $3.14/mn Btu in the Gulf of Mexico (up 30%).

Noble's net 1Q net income was $36mn, versus a net 1Q2016 loss of $287mn. Net production was 382,000 boe per day, of which 174,000 b/d oil and liquids and 1.245bn ft3/d gas. Noble’s $2.7bn acquisition of Clayton Williams Energy, with its Texan shale oil and gas assets, was finalised April 24 2017.

Lebanon explorers pre-qualified

Meanwhile the Lebanese Petroleum Adminstration (LPA) last month said it pre-qualified eight companies to take part in its first offshore licensing round. India’s ONGC Videsh is pre-qualified as an operator. The other seven, pre-qualified as non-operators only, are Russia’s Lukoil and Novatek, Algerian state Sonatrach, Qatar Petroleum, UK independent New Age, Iran’s Petropars, and Malaysian contractor Sapurakencana Energy.

LPA said that companies pre-qualified in 2013 that have not notified it of any change in their status remain pre-qualified to take part in Lebanon’s first offshore round if they still meet eligibility criteria.


Mark Smedley