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Israel: Noble Energy begins offshore production


31 Dec 2003

Noble Energy has commenced natural gas production from the Mari-B field in the Mediterranean Sea offshore Israel. Mari-B is the first offshore natural gas production facility in the State of Israel. The Israel Electric Corporation Limited (IEC) has contracted to purchase natural gas from Noble Energy and plans to start-up one new gas turbine and four boilers converted to burn natural gas at its Ashdod electric power plant through the end of 2004. Noble Energy expects gross production to increase as the boilers are fired up, reaching 100 million cubic feet per day (mmcfpd), approximately 40 mmcfpd net to Noble Energy, by the end of March 2004. Gross production is projected to increase during 2004 as IEC expands its gas-fired generation capacity. Ultimate gross production under the IEC contract is planned to reach 170 mmcfpd (70 mmcfpd net). Noble Energy anticipates it will market additional natural gas as Israel develops its infrastructure in the coming years. Noble Energy made the Mari-B natural gas discovery in March 2000 with the Mari-B #1 well located approximately 15 miles offshore. Construction and installation of the Mari-B jacket and platform were completed in early 2003. Production facilities are sized to produce up to 600 mcfpd. The company estimates total recoverable reserves in the Mari-B field exceed one trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Noble Energy is the operator of the project with a 47.059 percent working interest. Noble Energy also has an undeveloped discovery, Noa, which is estimated to contain over 200 billion cubic feet (bcf) of natural gas. Noa is scheduled to be brought on line at a later date through a sub-sea tieback to the Mari-B platform. Noble Energy and its partners have an 11-year contract to supply a total of 636 Bcf to IEC for use in IEC's electric power plants. Noble Energy's partners include Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership 23%, Delek Drilling Limited Partnership 25.5% and Delek Investments and Properties Ltd. 4.4415%.




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