Ratio Jumps as Leviathan Drilling Prospects Near: Tel Aviv Mover

Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP gained the most in almost a month on bets the company and other partners in Israel’s Leviathan field will find oil at the Israel’s biggest reserve.

Ratio, which owns a 15 percent stake in the field, according to a filing from Leviathan partners in May, advanced 2.4 percent, the most since June 23, to 0.344 shekel, at the close in Tel Aviv. About 49 million shares traded, or 142 percent the three-month daily average. The stock has gained 42 percent in the past 12 months, compared with a 15 percent increase for the TA-100 index. The benchmark TA-25 index gained 0.3 percent, extending the week’s gain to 1 percent.

Noble Energy Inc., one of the partners, will probe 6,500 meters (4 miles) below the Mediterranean seabed later this year, targeting as much as 1.5 billion barrels of crude, equal to about 15 years of local demand. While explorers have found enough natural gas in the past five years to turn Israel into an exporter, a major oil discovery would break new ground, said David Wurmser, director of Delphi Global Analysis Group.

“The overall news flow regarding the possibility of oil is attracting investors,” Gilad Alper, a senior analyst at Tel Aviv-based Excellence Nessuah Brokerage Ltd., today by phone. “As we get closer to the drilling date, we may see more interest in the partners in the Leviathan field and Ratio is a pure play on Leviathan.”

The Tamar natural gas field, which started production in March this year, is expected to add about 1 percentage point to the nation’s gross domestic product, the Bank of Israel said in March. The larger Leviathan field may also hold 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to estimates published by the Israeli partners in Leviathan.

Delek Group Ltd., which has stakes in Leviathan through units, gained 1.4 percent.