Noble's Eastern Mediterranean operations (Source: Noble Energy)
Noble's Eastern Mediterranean operations (Source: Noble Energy)

Noble's Leviathan Suspended Due to High Pressure

Noble Energy has confirmed that it was forced to suspend drilling of its Leviathan well offshore from Israel after hitting a high pressure zone before reaching its primary objective.

The well, which is being drilled in the Levant Basin, has so far reached a depth of 21,400 feet. However, the company says that it has hit a high pressure zone at around 21,000 feet where the gas was heavier than at previous intervals. Noble says the high pressure experienced at 21,400 feet may indicate the presence of an overlying seal above the resource.

The Homer Farrington rig used in the operation is due to remain in place to conduct a production flow test of the previously discovered natural gas sands at the site.

Due to the high pressure and the mechanical limitations on the wellbore, the company has suspended drilling. 

"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," Susan M. Cunningham, Noble Energy's Senior Vice President of Exploration and Business Innovation said.  

"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."  

Despite the stoppage, Ms. Cunningham said that the firm continued to have faith in the potential of the Leviathan target.

"Based on the information received to date, we continue to believe there is potential for significant oil resources in this prospect and the basin," she said.

Noble is the operator of the Leviathan licence with a 39.66 per cent stake. Israel's Delek Drilling, Avner Oil Exploration and Ratio Oil Exploration hold the remaining stakes at 22.67 per cent, 22.67 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.


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