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ATP Kicks Off Drilling Operations Offshore Israel

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ATP Oil & Gas Corporation and its wholly-owned subsidiary ATP East Med B.V. have initiated drilling at the Shimshon well in the Levant Basin of offshore Israel with the Ensco 5006 (DW semisub) drilling unit.

The Shimshon well is in a water depth of 3,622 feet with a target depth of 14,764 feet. After spudding, several protective casing strings will be set until the well has penetrated the salt layer. A full set of electric logs will be run at total depth to assist in evaluation of target reservoirs. ATP expects to announce results during the third quarter of 2012. ATP through ATP East Med operates with a 40 percent working interest.

"With the recent discoveries in the Levant Basin already exceeding 35 Tcf, the Basin is a prolific area for natural gas exploration efforts," said T. Paul Bulmahn, ATP Chairman and CEO. "Of the 26 ATP invention and system patents and pending applications, 16 deal with deepwater natural gas development methods and facilities, giving ATP an advantage if it secures an exploration success with this well."

ATP notes that Isramco Negev, its partner in Shimshon, on March 6, 2011, reported that it received an independent reservoir engineering evaluation from Lockwood & Associates estimating gross potential natural gas resources at Shimshon and that they calculated assessment of the total geological and geophysical exploration probability of success of 20 percent to be reasonable.

Lockwood said its high estimate of reserves to the 100 percent interest was for 3.4 TCF, the low estimate was 1.5 TCF and its best estimate was 2.3 TCF.

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