JERUSALEM, Dec 14 (Reuters) – A new natural gas field off Israel's Mediterranean coast may hold about 3.2 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of gas, an exploration group said on Sunday after analysing a 3D seismic survey of the area.
If the estimate is accurate, reserves for the Royee prospect, located about 150 km (93 miles) offshore along its maritime borders with Cyprus and Egypt, would be the third largest discovered in Israeli waters, said Israel Opportunity , a partner in the group.
The company provided a range for estimated reserves of 1.9 tcf to 5 tcf, with a best estimate of 3.2 tcf.
The drilling of an exploration well is expected to begin in December 2015 and cost about $100 million, Israel Opportunity's chief executive, Eyal Shuker, told Reuters.
The discoveries in 2009 and 2010 of the huge Tamar and Leviathan fields nearby, which hold combined reserves of about 33 tcf, triggered an exploration boom in the eastern Mediterranean.
Israeli Opportunity holds a 10 percent stake in the Royee project. Ratio Oil has 70 percent and Italy's Edison, the Italian power company controlled by France's EDF, holds 20 percent.
(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, editing by Andrew Heavens)
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