Fueling Israel’s Future

July 25, 2011 by · 5 Comments 

Israeli Power Plant at Hadera

From: Jewish Ideas Daily, Alex Joffe, July 21, 2011

Are abundant natural resources a blessing, or a curse? This is the sort of question that economic theorists love to play with, usually concluding that, depending on other factors, they can be either or both. Israel, thus far burdened with a crippling dependency on imported oil and gas, has had astonishing success in developing its human resources—so much so that it has flourished economically even in the current global recession. Would it have done even better with adequate sources of domestic energy? Or worse? A formerly theoretical dilemma is poised to become a pressingly practical one.

Trillions of cubic feet of natural gas have been discovered in several titanic fields off Israel’s coastline. They promise both an abundance of domestic energy, as much as 200 years’ worth by some estimates, and the possibility of the country’s becoming a major energy exporter. The total value of the gas is currently worth close to a half-trillion dollars. On the macro level, and from the point of view of ensuring the country’s national security, the prospective boon is almost unimaginably beneficial. The question, as always, is what is entailed in realizing it, and how to mitigate any attendant social and political costs.

Begin with the issue of where to locate a gas terminal. Israel’s coastline is 170 miles long, the site of several cities and numerous competing uses, including ports, water-desalinization and sewage-treatment plants, military operations, and recreation. Thanks in part to ecological changes in the Nile delta (themselves the long-term effects of the Aswan high dam built in the early 1960s), the coastline is also being eroded and becoming more vulnerable to storm damage. Millions of Israelis, Jews and Arabs, vie for access to the few parks and undeveloped beaches on the seafront.

One pressing issue is strategic. Gas-receiving terminals include the infrastructure to process raw natural gas and remove contaminants, as well as storage tanks and links to distribution systems. They may also include facilities to create liquefied gas for transportation and storage by radically reducing its volume. Such facilities have the explosive potential of small nuclear weapons. In Israel’s case, any such facility will also automatically become a major target for adversaries ranging from Hamas to Iran. Already the single pipeline carrying natural gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan has been repeatedly attacked since the fall of the Mubarak regime, and the electrical-power stations at the two coastal towns of Hadera and Ashkelon have been targeted by, respectively, Hizballah and Hamas rockets.

If the strategic implications of locating a gas terminal are significant, the domestic aspects are almost equally problematic. One plan would have placed the terminal at Dor, just south of the Hadera power station, effectively cutting through a beachfront kibbutz, nature reserve, and major archaeological site. Another proposal would expand the existing gas terminal at Ashdod, which serves a smaller offshore field. In both cases, those affected would be among the less powerful sectors of Israeli society, kibbutzniks and residents of outlying cities. (For both strategic and domestic reasons, there is no chance the terminal will be located anywhere near north Tel Aviv or its affluent suburbs.) And in both cases the sites have already been targeted by rockets.

More recently a proposal has emerged to locate a floating liquefied natural-gas terminal a few miles off the shore of Hadera, in what would amount to a giant ship that could temporarily move out of range of missile and other security threats. Australia is building a similar facility 120 miles off its western coastline, at a cost of $10 billion. In Israel, the state will of course remain responsible for its citizens’ security, but the size of the price tag inevitably raises the vexing question of who will pay for the infrastructure, and who will enjoy the proceeds.

The Israeli and American companies that have invested hundreds of millions for exploration stand to reap a windfall of billions. In January, the Israeli cabinet overwhelmingly approved taxing oil and gas profits at between 50 and 62 percent, effectively doubling the tax rate under which exploration had been launched. The new rates are in line with those in most Western countries, but the change prompted a complaint from the U.S. State Department about the deleterious retroactive effect on American investors. For their part, some Knesset members have been railing angrily about “greedy tycoons.” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has promised that the state’s share will be allocated toward education and security, but these debates can only become more heated, and more polarized, as time goes on.

No less fraught are the regional and international implications. Israel’s gas discoveries have prompted negotiations with Cyprus regarding the delineation of the two countries’ maritime borders and exclusion zones. Some entrepreneurs are talking about an undersea pipeline heading toward Europe. And, as has been well reported, there have been threats from Lebanon, which has already accused Israel of stealing “its” offshore natural gas.

Just south of the national park at the imposing ruins of Roman and Byzantine Caesarea, including the remains of the ancient aqueducts that supplied much-needed fresh water, and of the modern town of Caesarea that is home to some of Israel’s elite citizens, lies the Hadera power station. Its smokestacks dominate the horizon; a jetty protrudes offshore to carry coal from cargo ships.

The view from Caesarea beach thus already offers a juxtaposition of old—very old—with new infrastructure, as well as of the conflicts and divides that characterize Israeli society internally and its relations with its neighbors without. One can only hope that, with agility and political wisdom, the Jewish state will successfully navigate its course between the blessing and the curse of immense amounts of fuel, and the forms of power that come with it.

Alex Joffe is a research scholar with the Institute for Jewish and Community Research.

There is Oil in Israel …

June 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Everybody know the joke; “Moses should have turned left instead of right, he picked the only place in the Middle East with no oil”.
Zion Oil & Gas CEO Richard Rinberg proves naysayers wrong in this video – showing viewers the oil Zion has already discovered in Israel. This video was shot at Zion’s office in Caesarea, Israel.

John Brown’s 30 Year Faith Journey

June 6, 2011 by · 3 Comments 

A new video ‘short’ was released today – Zion Oil & Gas Founder speaking about his 30 years faith journey, lessons learned, and what he intends to do when Zion discovers oil in Israel. This video was shot on location in Caesarea Israel. Feel free to share it with your friends and anyone who wants to understand ‘true biblical faith’.

Zion Oil Appoints Ilan Sheena as CFO

April 9, 2011 by · 1 Comment 

Zion CFO Ilan Sheena

Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NASDAQ GM: ZN) announced on April 7 that Mr. Ilan Sheena CPA (Israel) has been appointed Chief Financial Officer of the Company, effective March 31, 2011. Mr. Sheena replaces Kent Siegel, who has resigned from the Company by mutual and amicable agreement.

Mr. Sheena, age 52, has been Vice President (Finance) of the Company’s Israeli Branch since November 2009 and Managing Director of the Israeli Branch since August 2010. Mr. Sheena is an accounting professional with broad local and international experience. He has a degree in Accounting and Economics from Tel Aviv University and is a member of the Institute of Certified Public Accountants in Israel.

*Editors Note: I have visited Zion’s Israel offices several times in the last few years and met Ilan when he first came aboard with Zion and have spoken with him on every subsequent visit. In my opinion, Zion is fortunate to have such a capable and positive person in the CFO position.

Steve Spillman

Video Shoot at Zion’s Ma’anit-Joseph #3 Well

February 10, 2011 by · 4 Comments 

Zion's John Brown & Richard Rinberg

We (True Potential Media) traveled to Israel for a week of shooting video at Zion Oil’s office in Caesarea, their Ma’anit-Joseph #3 well site in Northern Israel, and in Jerusalem. Zion Founder John Brown, CEO Richard Rinberg, President and CEO Bill Ottaviani and Executive VP Victor Carrillo were on-site in Israel for interviews on the vision and progress of Zion Oil’s mission in Israel.

The video, photographs, and other content produced during the shoot will be compiled and presented over the next few weeks and months as Zion shares its story and its vision with the world: ” … to assist Israel in the restoration of the Land by finding and producing oil and gas – helping to make Israel politically and economically independent.”

Visit the Oil in Israel and Zion Oil Facebook pages as we add photos to the Israel albums.

Zion Oil Reduces Warrant Price

January 5, 2011 by · 6 Comments 

Zion's Ma'anit-Joseph #3 Well

Dallas, Texas and Caesarea, Israel – January 3, 2011: Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NASDAQ GM: ZN, ZNWAW) today announced that it has temporarily reduced the exercise price of its outstanding publicly traded warrants under the symbol ZNWAW (the “Warrants”) to $4.00 (from the $7.00 exercise price provided by the original terms of the Warrants) until 5:00 p.m. eastern time on March 7, 2011 (the “Expiration Time”). Any and all Warrants properly exercised in accordance with the terms of the Warrants prior to the Expiration Time will be accepted by Zion at the reduced exercise price and one share of registered common stock per Warrant will be issued to the exercising Warrant holder. After the Expiration Time, the $7.00 exercise price included in the original terms of the Warrants will be reinstituted. Except for the reduced exercise price of the Warrants prior to the Expiration Time, the terms of the Warrants remain unchanged. The reduced exercise price applies to all of Zion’s currently outstanding Warrants that publicly trade under the symbol ZNWAW. Holders of Warrants that desire to exercise their Warrants should contact their brokers and instruct them to exercise the Warrants prior to the Expiration Time.

As of today’s date, approximately 606,000 ZNWAW Warrants are outstanding. Zion’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ GLOBAL Market under the symbol ZN and Zion’s Warrants being reduced are listed on the NASDAQ GLOBAL Market under the symbol ZNWAW. Zion recommends that Warrant holders obtain current market quotations for Zion’s securities before deciding whether or not to exercise their Warrants.

Richard Rinberg, CEO of Zion, stated, “We are pleased to offer our ZNWAW warrant holders the opportunity to exercise their warrants at a reduced exercise price of $4.00 and hope that a substantial number of these warrants will be exercised. We want to be fair to all of Zion’s investors and in addition to potentially raising a significant amount of capital for Zion, we believe that a reduction in the number of our outstanding warrants will simplify our capital structure and reduce the overhang of those warrants on the Company’s common stock”.


The information above does not constitute an offer to buy or exchange securities or constitute the solicitation of an offer to sell or exchange any securities in Zion.

Zion Oil Announces Proposed New Drilling Subsidiary

April 20, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Dallas, Texas and Caesarea, Israel – April 19, 2010 – Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NASDAQ GM: ZN) announced today that the Company recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Aladdin Middle East Ltd. (AME).

The MoU outlines Zion’s plan to establish a subsidiary, tentatively named “Zion Drilling, Inc.”, which will purchase AME’s 2,000 horsepower drilling rig (currently located at Zion’s Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 wellsite, in Israel) in exchange for an initial payment of US$ 7.0 million and a series of US$ 1.0 million additional payments that are anticipated to coincide with Zion’s drilling of seven (7) additional wells in Israel. Each of these payments is to be funded by Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. The MoU provides that Zion Drilling, Inc. will be 51% owned by Zion Oil & Gas and 49% owned by AME. AME will be responsible for the daily drilling operations of Zion Drilling, Inc.

Zion’s Founder and Chairman, John Brown, said today, “The signing of the MoU with AME marks a significant milestone in the life of Zion Oil & Gas. We are looking forward to establish Zion Drilling, Inc. as this will help us to drill as many wells as it takes, in order to recover the ‘treasures of the deep that lie beneath’.” (Deut. 33:13-16)

Zion’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Rinberg, noted, “By establishing Zion Drilling, Inc. we will clearly demonstrate our ability to continue to drill wells in Israel without dependence on any outside third party.  We will have secured permanent control of a drilling rig for our planned future operations and consequently also raised Zion Oil & Gas, Inc.’s exploration business to a completely new level. We remain excited about the prospect of recovering hydrocarbons on the Ma’anit structure and on our other license and permit areas, especially due to the recent publication of a report by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), containing their assessment that there may be 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable undiscovered oil in the Levant Basin. Zion’s exploration rights fall within the area of the Levant Basin.”

Zion’s common stock trades on the NASDAQ Global Market under the symbol “ZN” and Zion’s warrants trade under the symbol “ZNWAW”.

Zion Oil & Gas, a Delaware corporation, explores for oil and gas in Israel in areas located on-shore between Haifa and Tel Aviv. It currently holds two petroleum exploration licenses, the Joseph and the Asher-Menashe Licenses, between Netanya, in the south, and Haifa, in the north, covering a total of approximately 162,000 acres and the Issachar-Zebulun Permit Area, adjacent to and to the east of Zion’s Asher-Menashe license area, covering approximately 165,000 acres. Zion’s total petroleum exploration rights area is approximately 327,000 acres.

AME is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company, incorporated in Delaware in 1962, with its head office in Wichita, Kansas. AME has drilled more than 130 exploration and development wells in Turkey and Egypt for major oil companies, including Exxon, Mobil, Wintershall AG, MOL, Placid Oil, Neste Oy, Burren Energy Inc. and Edison International spa. Its rig inventory includes 11 drilling and workover rigs.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: Statements in this communication that are not historical fact, including statements regarding Zion’s planned operations, geophysical and geological data and interpretation, anticipated attributes of geological strata being drilled, drilling efforts and locations, the presence or recoverability of hydrocarbons, sufficiency of cash reserves, ability to raise additional capital, the successful establishment of the drilling subsidiary and the negotiation and execution of definitive agreements with AME with respect thereto, timing and potential results thereof and plans contingent thereon are forward-looking statements as defined in the “Safe Harbor” provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward looking statements are based on assumptions that are subject to significant known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other unpredictable factors, many of which are described in Zion’s periodic reports filed with the SEC and are beyond Zion’s control. These risks could cause Zion’s actual performance to differ materially from the results predicted by these forward-looking statements. Zion can give no assurance that the expectations reflected in these statements will prove to be correct and assumes no responsibility to update these statements.

Zion’s homepage may be found at: www.zionoil.com


Zion Oil & Gas, Inc.

Mike Williams, 214-221-4610


Zion’s Ottaviani Joins Board

April 15, 2010 by · 1 Comment 


Dallas, Texas – April 12, 2010 – Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NASDAQ GM: ZN), of Dallas, Texas and Caesarea, Israel, announced today that Mr. William L. Ottaviani has been appointed as a Director of Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. Mr. Ottaviani has been serving as the Company’s President and Chief Operating Officer of the Company since January 31, 2010 and will continue to serve in these positions.

Mr. Ottaviani, a petroleum engineer by training, served as Chief Operating Officer at Rex Energy Corporation from November 2007 to September 2009. From September 2009 to January 2010, he worked as an independent consultant. From 1982 until 2007, Mr. Ottaviani served in various management, engineering, operational and staff assignments for Chevron and its affiliated companies, with assignments in California, Louisiana, Indonesia and Angola.  He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering from Pennsylvania State University and his M.B.A. from California State University, Bakersfield.

Mr. John Brown, Chairman of the Board and Founder, said: “We are delighted to have Mr. Ottaviani joining our Board of Directors.  He brings more than 25 years of experience in the petroleum industry to Zion and will serve as a tremendous asset as we continue our pursuit to recover hydrocarbons in Israel.”

Zion Oil & Gas, a Delaware corporation, explores for oil and gas in Israel in areas located on-shore between Haifa and Tel Aviv. It currently holds two petroleum exploration licenses, the Joseph and the Asher-Menashe Licenses, between Netanya, in the south, and Haifa, in the north, covering a total of approximately 162,000 acres and the Issachar-Zebulun Permit Area, adjacent to and to the east of Zion’s Asher-Menashe license area, covering approximately 165,000 acres. Zion’s total petroleum exploration rights area is approximately 327,000 acres.

Zion Oil Oversells Stock Offering by $19 Million

December 5, 2009 by · 1 Comment 

Dallas, Texas and Caesarea, Israel – December 1, 2009:
Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NASDAQ GM – ZN) announced today the preliminary results of its rights offering to stockholders, offering 3.6 million shares of Zion’s common stock at a subscription price of $5.00 per share. The rights offering terminated yesterday, November 30, 2009, as originally scheduled. Preliminary results indicate that subscriptions were received for over $37 million, significantly greater than the maximum available of $18 million.

The total available subscription of 3.6 million shares, for gross proceeds of $18 million, will be accepted by Zion and amounts for the unfilled oversubscriptions will be refunded as soon as possible. As detailed in the prospectus, oversubscription rights will be allocated pro rata in accordance with the number of basic subscriptions rights exercised.

Zion’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Rinberg, said today, “I am pleased to announce the successful conclusion of our rights offering. The significant oversubscription is very gratifying and shows the high level of interest in our oil and gas exploration work in Israel. The $18 Million proceeds will provide us with financial and operating flexibility and will enable us to significantly further our exploration and drilling program.”

Under the completed rights offering, holders of record of Zion’s common stock, as of the close of business on October 19, 2009, were given non-transferable subscription rights to purchase up to 3.6 million shares of common stock at a subscription price of $5.00 per share.

Zion is currently drilling its Elijah #3 well and drilling has reached a depth of approximately 5,250 feet (1,600 meters). Next week, Zion plans to carry out completion testing on its Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well that was drilled to a depth of 17,913 feet (5,460 meters).

For updates on the drilling activity please visit Zion’s website “www.zionoil.com“.

Special Report: Zion – The Movie

November 25, 2009 by · 5 Comments 

Special Report: Zion – The Movie

I traveled to Israel last week to work with Charter Films Limited, a UK film company. We (they) were doing preliminary shooting for a film about Zion Oil’s search for oil in Israel. Tom Boulting, Charter’s CEO met Richard Rinberg, Zion’s CEO on a flight to London a few months back and Richard shared the Zion Oil story with Tom. Tom was fascinated. As a filmmaker, Tom saw great possibilities for a documentary on Zion Oil; but after spending a few days with Richard and Zion Founder John Brown at Zion’s drilling sites in Israel he realized that a sixty minute documentary could only tell half the story. Tom started thinking ‘movie’.


John Brown at Caesarea Aquaduct

As the ‘oil in Israel’ story teller up to this point, I was invited to spend last week with Tom and his cameraman, Jim, ‘on site’ while they filmed preliminary footage for both the documentary and a possible feature length film. I was able to share the ‘back-story’ with Tom and Jim, both on and off camera. They even christened me into the ‘film crew’ on location by letting me hold the boom mike during interviews and taught me some movie making lingo. It was a great experience personally, but more exciting was the realization that the world will soon witness the Zion Oil story through documentary on the small screen (TV) and (one day) on the big screen as a feature length movie.

new_boom_op 2

Steve Spillman, Rookie "Boom Technician"

There’s a lot of work to be done now by Charter Films, editing footage and preparing a short ‘promo’ piece to share with potential film partners. Speaking of ‘promo’ pieces, Charter Films is planning to join us at the 2010 National Religious Broadcasters’ Convention next February in Nashville to debut a sneak peek of “Zion – The Movie”.

Next week we’ll have http://zionthemovie.com online. By the time you’re about done with that left-over turkey, you’ll be able to visit the new website for great pictures, meet the director and stay up to date on the making of “Zion – The Movie”. Of course we’ll always give you the latest news here at http://oilinisrael.net.

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