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Israel Gas Explorers Rise as Discoveries Make LNG Plant Viable

Jan. 1 (Bloomberg) -- Delek Drilling-LP climbed to the highest in almost a year amid increased speculation about the viability of exports as new discoveries are made in the region.

The shares increased 2.2 percent to 14.36 shekels, the highest level since Jan. 13. Avner Oil Exploration LLP, Delek’s partner in gas sites off the coasts of Israel and Cyprus, jumped 2.7 percent to 2.47 shekels, the highest since April 27.

Noble Energy Inc., a partner of Delek Drilling and Avner, said Dec. 28 a field off the coast of Cyprus may hold as much as 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Noble operates the well with a 70 percent working interest, while Delek and Avner Oil each hold 15 percent.

“The more the gas discoveries, the higher the chances for the viability of the construction of a liquified-natural gas plant for the area that will enable exports,” Richard Gussow, a Tel Aviv-based analyst at Deutsche Bank AG in Tel Aviv said by phone. The size of the find “improves the chances for finding further discoveries for all the gas companies.”

Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP surged the most since Nov. 13, gaining 5.9 percent to 0.344 shekel. Isramco Negev 2 LP rose 2.8 percent, the most since Dec. 5, to 0.483 shekel.

To contact the reporter on this story: Shoshanna Solomon in Tel Aviv at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Maedler at

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