The Myra-1 well came up dry, its partners announced yesterday, but they vowed not to give up on their license and to continue exploratory work nearby.

Modiin and ILDC Energy, the main partners in the consortium that was drilling the exploratory well offshore Israel's Mediterranean coast, said they had reached a depth 5,200 meters without finding "significant signs of [natural] gas."

But ILDC Energy CEO Ohad Marani told a press conference yesterday that the results did not put an end to the partnership.

"This is only an exploratory operation," Marani said. "We didn't find any gas, but this isn't the end ... We are very optimistic regarding the next drillings. None of the partner companies in the project is ready to sell its holding."

Stock market investors had been waiting nervously for the results of Myra-1, which would buttress estimates for the extent of Israeli natural gas reserves.

Shares of Modiin, controlled by Nochi Dankner's IDB group, plunged 50% while ILDC Energy, controlled by Ofer Nomrodi, by dropped 24.5%.

The well's operator, Canada's GeoGlobal Resources, said the partners would perform wire line logging to definitively determine the presence of any hydrocarbons and to gather geological information that could be useful when making future drilling decisions at the Myra-1 and Sara-1 sites, which are 60 kilometers offshore the town of Hadera.