Gal permits have estimated 3 TCF gas - market sources

Ratio, which owns 70% of the permits, insists that such reports are "wild guesses and speculation."

The potential for natural gas in the Gal permits of Ratio Oil Exploration (1992) LP (TASE:RATI.L) - Neta and Roy amounts to about 3 trillion cubic feet (TCF), according to sources in the energy exploration market. Ratio recently announced that it is bringing in Italy's Edison International SpA (NYSE: EIX) as the operating partner for the permits.

Sources involved in the market say that Edison is essentially interested in the deep strata in the permits which could contain oil. However, it is yet unclear what is the oil potential of the permits and the partners must wait until the planned oil drilling at the Leviathan field is completed at the end of 2013.

As part of the deal, Edison will buy a 20% stake of the permits' rights with an option to increase its holding to 40%. Over the weekend, Israel Opportunity Energy Resources LP (TASE: ISOP.L) agreed to buy 10% of the permits. The deal renews a previous agreement that Ratio, which held full rights for the permits, has with Israel Opportunity.

The Gal permit borders Egypt's economic waters.

Ratio strenuously denied reports about the estimated amounts of gas in the permits. Ratio CEO Yigal Landau stressed that the findings of recent seismic surveys have only been shown to Edison and that all reports on the topic are "wild guesses and speculation."

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 3, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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