US Firm Hits Gas Find Off Israeli Coast

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US oil & gas exploration and production company ATP Oil &Gas Corp. (NASDAQ: ATPG) announced this morning that the company’s Middle East subsidiary had successfully drilled a well offshore of Israel in 3,600 feet of water. The ultradeepwater Shimshon well was drilled to nearly 15,000 feet below the sea floor and encountered 62 feet of natural gas pay.

ATP has a 40% working interest in the well which an independent reservoir analyst estimated holds reserves of about 2.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. ATP did not offer many details of the find, saying only that it would offer more information during the third quarter of this year. The company’s annual 10-K for 2011 indicates that it also operates the well.

ATP’s shares tumbled in early June when the company’s newly-hired CEO left after just one week on the job. The company could not reach an employment agreement with Matt McCarroll, who was founder and CEO at Dynamic Offshore Resources before his short tenure at ATP.

Shares of ATP have jumped 16% on the news, to $3.90 in a 52-week range of $2.78-$16.23.

Paul Ausick