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In the oil business, wildcatting has fallen out of favor as the supply of new Giant fields has shrunk.  The era of being able to drill a well and change the destiny of a company has faded.  T. Boon Picken’s is one of the last of the wildcatters, and even he no longer swings for the fences with a drill bit anymore.  Audry over at Chesapeake Energy is one of the last wildcatters in the sense that he is willing to chase whole plays.

Noble Energy appears to have hit a major field in the Mediterranean that will change world politics.  The implication and reality appears to change the balance of energy sources in the region.  Israel, once a forgotten corner of the hydrocarbon map has had a massive new natural gas field found off its coast.

While news of this field is not new, the official estimated size is…

Charles D. Davidson, Noble Energy’s Chairman and CEO, said, “Leviathan is the latest major discovery for Noble Energy and is easily the largest exploration discovery in our history. In the past two years, we and our partners have made three significant natural gas discoveries in the Levantine basin. Total gross mean resources discovered are estimated to be approximately 25 trillion cubic feet (700 billion cubic meters), with nearly 8.5 trillion cubic feet (240 billion cubic meters) net to Noble Energy’s interest. The Leviathan discovery has further confirmed our geologic models and interpretation of this basin and validates that it contains significant natural gas resources.”

The impact of the size of the field is two fold. 

  • The first is that the nation of Israel now has its own energy needs met for the next 100 years or so.  This will help Israel to become a hydrocarbon exporting powerhouse as the rest of the region slowly slips into a decaying production profile from peak energy realities.
  • The second is that Europe is now going to have a new major source of natural gas, which is not typically turned off in January as Russia reminds its neighbors to pay their bills by turning off the taps to punish someone.

The region where this find has been found, while overlooked historically, is open to further game changing off shore reserve discoveries.  Ironically, Europe may have another major source of oil, yet to be found.  Noble with its exposure to the region, and its growing exploration in the area is set to profit from this discovery for years if not decades to come.  This is the first super giant field found in years.

David L. Stover, the Company’s President and COO, added, “Our exploration program continues to deliver outstanding results. This discovery has the potential to position Israel as a natural gas exporting nation. For nearly a year now, we have had a team evaluating market possibilities, which includes various pipeline and LNG options. It’s our belief that the natural gas resources at Leviathan are sufficient to support one or more of the options being studied. We are excited to be leading the exploration and development in this new basin and look forward to determining the best development option.

This development will change the geopolitics of Europe.  How, and in what ways are not known yet.  Israeli has the chance to redevelop their own economy to highlight this cheap clean portable energy source.