Modiin Energy Gets OK to Drill Field Offshore

JERUSALEM - Shares of Israeli oil and gas company Modiin Energy Ltd. rose sharply Monday after the company said the government has granted it approval to drill for natural gas in its offshore Gabriella license.

Environmental groups had sought to block the drilling, which they say is too close to a proposed marine nature reserve. The Gabriella license is estimated to contain 110 million barrels of oil and 1.8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to a seismic survey commissioned by Modiin. It is one of several recent natural gas discoveries in Israel's emerging energy sector.

The offshore Tamar field, estimated to contain up to 9 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, is scheduled to begin production later this year and will meet all of Israel's natural gas needs for at least a decade, according to a government report.

Modiin recently said it would seek to raise additional funds to finance the drilling of Gabriella after suffering large losses from drilling potential wells in another license that turned out not to contain gas or oil.

Modiin shares closed up 0.042 shekel, or 23%, at ILS0.222 ($0.06), in a higher Tel Aviv market.


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