An Israeli consortium has announced a 16% increase in the gross mean resources of natural gas to 7.3tcf (about 207bcm) in the Tamar field off Israel’s coast.

The new resource levels were announced by the project operator, NOBEL Energy Mediterranean, following a report and updates from a third party – Netherland, Sewell and Associates.

The recoverable natural gas from the field is predicted to be 7.7tcf.

Nobel, which leads a group of Israeli companies involved in drilling at three sites off the coast, increased the Tamar field resource estimates last month by 26% to about 6.3tcf (178bcm).

The first phase of production is expected to begin in 2012 and total revenues from the field are estimated at more than $38bn.

Nobel owns a 36% stake in the Tamar sites followed by limited partnerships by Isramco Negev, Delek Drilling, Avner and Dor.