Modiin Seeking to Recruit New Partners in Gabriella Oil Field

Norwegian and Israeli companies negotiating to acquire 10% of the license rights as Modiin seeks to cover $96 million drilling costs.

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New partners could shortly be joining the Gabriella offshore oil exploratory license. Modiin Energy Limited Partnership announced late Monday that negotiations are underway with Norway's AGR Petroleum Services Holdings and Israel Opportunity - Energy Resources over each acquiring 10% of the license rights.

Modiin, controlled by Tzachi Sultan and Nochi Dankner's IDB Development Corp., currently owns a 70% stake in Gabriella, with the balance held by Canada's Brownstone Energy (15%), Adira Energy (10%) and Tohar Hashemesh (5%).

Modiin is interested in recruiting new partners to help finance the estimated $96 million cost of drilling, not including production testing. Three weeks ago, Modiin raised NIS 56 million to cover drilling costs and is set to conduct another rights issue for NIS 30 million. Drilling is expected to start during the second quarter of the year by Noble Drilling.

Gabriella is situated 10 kilometers offshore, between Netanya and Ashdod. Unlike the deep-sea Tamar and Leviathan gas fields, Gabriella is located in relatively shallow waters, about 150 meters in depth. Seismic surveys have indicated 128 million contingent barrels of oil and prospects in the probability range of 15% to 24% for 124 million barrels. The field is located north of the Med Ashdod license, where oil has already been found.

Drilling in the Dalit offshore field.Credit: Archive

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