Israel Opportunity has reported potential targets of 1.4 billion barrels of oil and 6.7 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas at its Pelagic group of deep-sea fields, west of Haifa, offshore of Israel.

Israel Opportunity said the Pelagic fields have a high geological probability for success in global standards, between 28.5 and 76.7% depending on the exact site, thanks to its proximity to larger proven fields nearby.

Ronny Helman, Israel Opportunity chairman, was quoted by AFP as saying that the quantity of gas discovered in the licences, and at high probabilities, are the third-largest discovered so far off of Israel’s shores.

"This quantity ensures Israel’s energy future for many decades," Helman added.

The same area also comprises the deep-sea Leviathan and Tamar fields with an estimated 450 billion cubic metres (16 trillion cubic feet) and 238 billion metres (8.4 trillion cubic feet) of natural gas, respectively.

Israeli investors Benny Steinmetz and Teddy Sagi each control a 42.5% stake in the Pelagic fields, while Israel Opportunity holds a ten percent share and Norwegian operator AGR has a five percent stake.

Drilling at the first Pelagic site is expected to be started by the consortium in the fourth quarter of 2012. Israel intends to raise the power generation from natural gas by 40% from the current capacity, reducing the dependency on diesel and coal.