Noble Energy Begins Gas Sales in Israel

Noble Energy, Inc. reports that commercial natural gas sales have begun to the Israel Electric Corporation Limited (IEC). The natural gas is being supplied from the Mari-B field, which is located off the coast of Israel in the Mediterranean Sea, to IEC for use in its electric power plants throughout Israel. The initial commissioning of the onshore natural gas delivery facilities was completed on February 17 and natural gas delivery to IEC's Ashdod power plant began immediately.

Currently IEC has converted its first steam boiler to natural gas resulting in sales of approximately 35 million cubic feet per day (MMcfpd). During 2004 IEC plans to convert three additional boilers and a turbine to natural gas. Ultimate gross production is planned to reach 170 MMcfpd (70 MMcfpd net to Noble Energy) under the 11-year, take-or-pay contract with IEC for the supply of 636 billion cubic feet of natural gas.

Charles D. Davidson, Chairman, President and CEO of Noble Energy, said, "The startup of natural gas sales from the Mari-B field is an important and exciting event for the State of Israel and for Noble Energy. Israel now has access to a safe, clean and inexpensive energy source. For Noble Energy, the commencement of natural gas sales marks the completion of a major international project that will create a stable, core producing area for years to come. We look forward to a long and productive relationship with the State of Israel and our Israeli partners."

Noble Energy is the operator of the project with a 47.059 percent working interest. Noble Energy's partners include Avner Oil Exploration Limited Partnership (23 percent), Delek Drilling Limited Partnership (25.5 percent) and Delek Investments and Properties Ltd. (4.441 percent).