US-based Noble Energy has unveiled plans to start the next round of deep sea drilling at the Leviathan field, offshore of Israel in 2013.

The company announced that it had made a significant natural gas discovery at the prospect in 2010, but stopped drilling activity at Leviathan 1 two months ago.

"The company intends to maintain the supply of a production rate of 200 million to 250 million cubic feet daily to Israel."

Chuck Davidson, Noble CEO, was quoted by Haaretz.com as saying that his company is investigating additional test drilling for gas by the end of the year.

"We plan to direct Leviathan to supporting the Israeli market in 2016 and after that top direct it to exports," he added.

The company intends to secure a new partner for Leviathan by the end of the year.

"Several companies have already visited our data room and several others plan to visit in the next several weeks. We are optimistic concerning our two plans – exports and sales to the local market. We have lots of possibilities."

Noble is the leading partner in all the gas consortia drilling off the Israeli shoreline and has a 47% stake in the nearly depleted Tethys Sea field. In the Tamar field, it has a 36% holding and in the Leviathan field, the company owns 40%.

The company intends to maintain the supply of a production rate of 200 million to 250 million cubic feet daily to Israel during the current quarter, by pumping gas from the tiny Noa and Pinnacles fields.