Noble Energy, an oil and gas exploration and production company, has made a significant natural gas discovery at the Leviathan exploration prospect offshore Israel.

The Leviathan-1 well, which was drilled in the Rachel license, encountered a minimum of 220ft of net natural gas pay in several subsalt Miocene intervals.

Apparent reservoir quality is very good, and the intervals discovered are geologically similar to those intersected at Tamar prospect, Noble Energy officials said.

The results from the well confirm the pre-drill estimated resource range, with a gross mean for Leviathan of 16 trillion cubic feet.

The Leviathan field is estimated to cover approximately 125 square miles and, as a result of its size, will require two or more appraisal wells to further define total gas resources.

Drilling at Leviathan-1 will continue to a planned total depth of 23,600ft to evaluate two additional intervals and current well depth is 16,960ft.