Leviathan was the world's largest offshore gas discovery of the decade when Texas-based Noble Energy and its Israeli partners found the deposit about 80 miles (130 km) west of the Israeli port of Haifa in 2010.
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The group initially said the field held about 16 tcf, but has since lifted its estimate incrementally. Ratio Oil Exploration, which has a 15% stake in the field, presented a new evaluation made by Texas-based consultants Netherland, Sewell & Associates that listed a best estimate of 18.9 tcf.
Noble has a 39.66% share and the Delek Group holds 45.34% through two subsidiaries.
Delek Drilling CEO Yossi Abu told Calcalist on Wednesday, "This is sensational news for the Israeli economy. The most significant thing is that the update in the reserve brings us to a situation of more gas than even the Tzemach Committee predicted.
"The world is not waiting for us – Israel is already well known in the global gas and oil industry and we must move forward and take our place among the world's leading gas exporters."
The Leviathan partners announced in December they will sell a 30% stake to Australia's Woodside Petroleum for $1.25 billion. The deal has not been finalized.
Shay Salinas contributed to this report