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Ratio Jumps to 5-Year High as Leviathan Contains Gas

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Nov. 29 (Bloomberg) -- Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP jumped to the highest level in more than five years in Tel Aviv trading as initial drilling results showed that the Leviathan field contains natural gas. Partners Avner Oil & Gas Ltd. and Delek Drilling-LP also advanced.

Ratio climbed 4.3 percent to 0.532 shekel, the highest since April 2005, at the 4:30 p.m. close in Tel Aviv. Avner increased 5.1 percent to 2.59 shekels and Delek Drilling rose 1.4 percent to 14.30 shekels.

The results don’t yet indicate the size, quality or economic viability of the project, Ratio said in a statement today to the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Details are expected to be released in about two weeks, Ratio said.

“The announcement lowers the uncertainty surrounding investment in these gas explorers,” said Liat Glazer, an analyst at Excellence Nessuah Investment House Ltd. in Ramat Gan, Israel. “We will be awaiting indications of the amount of gas in the reservoir in the next two weeks. Assuming the quantities match previous estimates from the seismic tests, the production process will probably start around 2017.”

Noble Energy Inc., the Houston-based explorer which has a controlling interest in Leviathan, said June 3 the field may hold 16 trillion cubic feet of gas with a 50 percent “geologic chance” of success. Noble holds 39.7 percent, Ratio 15 percent, Delek 22.7 percent, and Avner 22.7 percent, according to the Ministry of National Infrastructures.

If the prospect yields the estimated amount of gas, Leviathan would be the largest gas field in Israeli waters, almost double the size of the Tamar field discovered in 2009.

To contact the reporters on this story: David Wainer in Tel Aviv at dwainer1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at cmaedler@bloomberg.net;

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