In a presentation to investors today, Noble Energy Inc. (NYSE: NBL) has raised the geological probability of success of oil in the upper target strata at Leviathan to 25%.It is a crapshoot, but if Leviathan has 3 billion barrels' worth of oil then it would be considered a major oil field.
The 3D seismic survey of the Leviathan structure indicated that the second target strata (the first strata that may contain oil), at a depth of 5,800 meters, may have three billion barrels of oil with a 17% chance of geological success. The second oil-bearing target strata, at a depth of 7,200 meters have an 8% chance of geological success. Leviathan has 17 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in strata overlying the oil-bearing strata.
Noble Energy said that the Mesozoic strata throughout the Levant Basin are a new oil play, which will be initially tested beneath the Leviathan gas field. The company plans to spud in late 2013, and has contracted for a new drill ship, the Atwood Advantage, which is under construction.
The company says that the Leviathan structure's low geothermal gradient allows for the preservation of reservoir quality at the target depths. The gross unrisked resource potential is 210-1,490 million barrels of oil equivalents. It adds that the full cycle finding and development costs of Leviathan are $11 per barrel of oil equivalent, and predicts a net production rate 50,000 barrel of oil equivalent per day by 2018, generating a net cash flow of $1.5 billion in that year.
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