More information from the preliminary results of the Pelagic consortium’s drilling in the Ishai field indicates an overestimation of prospective reserves that significantly increases the pressure on the Israeli government to revise at least partly the pro-export recommendations of the Zemach Committee.

The apparent failure of the Pelagic consortium to confirm pre-drilling projections made by Ryder Scott Company regarding the existence of approximately 104bn cu ms of gas-in-place in Ishai is shifting the balance of power in favor of the conservationist lobby inside Israel’s fractious decision-making mechanism. Estimates published by Ryder Scott in June 2012, which were based on detailed 3D seismic studies completed as late as June 2011, projected a very high probability of geological success (68-77%) that would confirm the existence of around 3.7 trillion cu ft. Unfortunately for the Pelagic License consortium, which is primarily composed of companies belonging to Israeli entrepreneurs Benny Steinmetz and Teddy Sagi, the initial results of the drilling indicated a net play interval of 15 meters, compared to a net play interval of 100 meters in the case of the Aphrodite field, the Cypriot extension of Ishai. Mr Steinmetz and Mr Sagi each control 42.5% of the five Pelagic licenses. (CONTINUED - 797 WORDS)