Monday 15 April 2019 11:48 am

Shares in Energean soar as Israeli energy minister hails major gas discovery

Follow August Graham

Israel’s energy minister has hailed his country’s future as a regional gas hub as London-listed Energean made a major oil discovery in the Mediterranean.

Shares in the London-listed company soared around 10.5 per cent this morning after it said it had found up to 1.5 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas at its Karish North site.

Read more: Energean shares jump as drilling starts on offshore Israeli wells

With estimates running from 1 Tcf to 1.5 Tcf, production could outstrip previous forecasts of around 1.3 Tfc.

Energy minister Yuval Steinitz said: “This is a first sign, and I am sure that further discoveries will follow – and turn the State of Israel into a regional gas hub.”

He added: “The first exploration drilling following years of stagnation ended up with a discovery for Energean! I congratulate Energean for the significant amount of natural gas discovered in Karish North.”

The drilling, which was started on 15 March, finished seven days ahead of schedule, reaching a depth of 4,880 meters.

Chief executive Mathios Rigas said: “We have already signed a contingent contract to sell 5.5 bcm (0.2 Tcf) of this new resource, and our strategy is now to secure the offtake for remaining volumes.

Read more: Energean shares put foot on the gas after Israeli supply deal

“We continue to see strong demand for our gas, which we believe will be supported by today’s announcement.”

Energean’s shares were trading up at 861p at around midday. The stock’s price has soared in the past year, from a listing price of 437p per share in March 2018.