Zion’s Elijah #3 is a No-Go

January 25, 2013 by · 1 Comment 

Elijah #3 Re-entry Rig

Elijah #3 Re-entry Rig

Zion Oil & Gas announced yesterday in a newsletter to shareholders and friends that results from their second re-entry into the Elijah #3 well failed to give enough evidence of hydrocarbons to continue developing the well. Read more

Zion Oil Re-enters Elijah #3 Well

July 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Zion Oil Elijah #3 Re-entry Operations

Zion Oil & Gas began re-entry operations this week at their Elijah #3 well in Northern Israel. Israeli drilling company, Lapidoth, erected it’s drilling rig and prepared the site. Zion is scheduled to begin its vertical seismic profile operation in the well early next week after completing wireline logging.

Zion Oil & Gas to Re-enter the Elijah #3 Well in Northern Israel

July 2, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Zion Oil President Victor Carrillo and Chief Geologist Aaron Kahn at Elijah #3 Site

Zion President Victor Carrillo and Chief Geologist Aaron Kahn at Elijah #3 Site

Dallas, Texas and Caesarea, Israel – July 2, 2012 – Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NASDAQ GM: ZN) announced today that, on June 28, 2012, it signed an agreement with Lapidoth Israel Oil Prospectors Corp. Ltd (“Lapidoth”) regarding further exploratory work to be performed in Zion’s Asher-Menashe License area in northern Israel.

Under the terms of the workover agreement, in July 2012, Lapidoth will mobilize their Franks 750 drilling rig to Zion’s temporarily suspended Elijah #3 well. The planned work program includes re-entering the existing wellbore, partially drilling out the existing plug, acquiring electric log data via wireline, acquiring vertical seismic profile data, and possibly obtaining sidewall core samples.

Zion’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Rinberg, said today, “The signing of the agreement with Lapidoth allows us to move forward with our exploration program in our Asher-Menashe License area. We look forward to acquiring vertical seismic profile data in this petroleum exploration area, as the additional seismic data should help us to evaluate the next steps we need to take with respect to our temporarily suspended Elijah #3 well and also to identify prospects within this license area.”

The primary purpose of the planned work is to obtain additional geologic and geophysical data and to better understand the hydrocarbon potential of a zone through which Zion drilled while drilling the Elijah #3 well in 2009/2010. The Elijah #3 well, originally planned to drill to below 17,000 feet to test both Triassic and Permian-aged geological formations, was temporarily suspended after encountering technical issues at a total depth of approximately 11,000 feet.

Zion’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Victor Carrillo, said today: “We hope to learn more about the observed oil and gas shows in a zone from approximately 8,000 to 9,000 feet that were correlated to other regional hydrocarbon shows. Zion has never sought an offset vertical seismic profile in Israel and we hope to obtain a better subsurface image of the zone near the wellbore to determine future oil prospects in this area.”

Zion Oil & Gas, a Delaware corporation, explores for oil and gas in Israel in areas located onshore between Haifa and Tel Aviv. It currently holds three petroleum exploration licenses: the Joseph License (on approximately 83,272 acres) and the Asher-Menashe License (on approximately 78,824 acres) between Netanya, in the south, and Haifa, in the north, and the Jordan Valley License (on approximately 55,845 acres), just south of the Sea of Galilee. The total license area amounts to approximately 218,000 acres

Zion Announces Plans for Two Wells in 2012

February 27, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

Zion's Elijah #3 Well

February 21, 2012, Nashville, TN

Zion President and COO, Victor Carrillo, during a press conference at the 2012 National Religious Broadcasters Convention in Nashville, announced yesterday that Zion plans to re-enter the Elijah 3 well in the Asher-Menashe Exploration territory. Carrillo stated that Zion Oil & Gas plans to re-enter the well bore late this Spring in order to evaluate the well’s production potential and to determine if the well should be completed.
Zion began drilling operations at the Elijah 3 well in October 2009. Their target depth was toward the Triassic geological formation, which was estimated below approximately 10,000 feet (3,048 meters). Zion reached a depth of 10,938 feet (3,334 meters) but temporarily suspended drilling operations in the well following unsuccessful efforts to retrieve a stuck pipe.
Carrillo also announced in yesterday’s press conference, that later this year, Zion plans to begin drilling its first well in the company’s Jordan Valley license.

Zion Oil & Gas hold the largest on-shore oil and gas exploration license area in Israel.

Zion Drilling Venture in Israel Signals New Era

April 26, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Zion's 2,000 HP Rig

Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. announced last week that it had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Turkish drilling contractor Aladdin Middle East Ltd. to purchase AME’s 2,000 horsepower drilling rig (currently located at Zion’s Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 wellsite, in Israel). The proposed new company, Zion Drilling, Inc. (a subsidiary of Zion Oil & Gas, Inc.), will own and operate the drilling rig in Israel.

What the new company will mean for Zion Oil & Gas is that they will no longer need to rely on third party drilling contractors on future exploration wells. What the new company will mean for the State of Israel, now experiencing a gas and oil exploration boom, is that a rig, twice the size as has ever operated onshore in Israel, will now be permanently ‘in-country’ and possibly available for other (besides Zion Oil & Gas) Israeli exploration efforts. And that the rig will be owned and controlled by a company solely invested on Israeli oil and gas exploration.

During Zion’s drilling of the Ma’anit #1 well in 2005 operations were frustrated by the rig contracted for project. The Israeli owned 1,000 horsepower Ideco Super 7-11 (at that time the biggest in the country) just wasn’t up to the task of drilling to Zion’s estimated 18,000 foot Permian depth. Fearing they would lose the hole due to mechanical problems, Zion stopped drilling the Ma’anit #1 at 15,842 feet. Although they tested several zones above 15,842, noen produced commercial quantities of oil or gas. The well was abandoned and Zion went on the hunt for a rig capable of drilling to a depth greater than 18,000 feet.

After a year of searching, they discovered a rig owned by Aladdin Middle East in Turkey. The rig required refurbishment and transport to Israel, but at 2,000 horsepower it had the mechanical ability to drill beyond 18,000 feet. Zion brought the rig to Israel in the spring of 2009 and immediately began drilling the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2. In October of 2009 the AME rig was moved to Zion’s Asher license to begin the Elijah #3 well. Then in February of this year, Zion moved the rig back to the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 site to conduct completion testing. Zion’s next well, the Ma’anit-Joseph #3, will be in close proximity to the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2.

Zion Drilling will purchase AME’s drilling rig for an initial payment of US$ 7 million and a series of US$ 1 million additional payments that are anticipated to coincide with our drilling seven additional wells in Israel over the next few years. As the funds for the purchase of the rig are to be provided by Zion Oil & Gas, our plans are subject to a number of events, including due diligence, the raising of additional capital and the establishment of Zion Drilling.

Zion currently has seven new exploration wells planned and the establishment of a new drilling subsidiary signals not only a long term stability and commitment in Zion’s exploration efforts, but a substantial move forward in Israel’s deep onshore exploration capability and security.

Zion CEO Richard Rinberg’s comment as he announced plans of the new drilling venture speaks not only for Zion’s intention for future oil and gas exploration but can reasonably express the nation of Israel’s oil and gas exploration future as well: “We have both the patience and the firm resolve… and now, we expect to soon have the right tool to finish the job – a 2,000 Horsepower drilling rig in Israel on a permanent basis.”

Zion Moving Rig Back to Ma’anit Rehoboth #2

February 5, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

DALLAS and CAESAREA, Israel, Feb 5, 2010 (GlobeNewswire) –Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (Nasdaq:ZN) announced today that the Company is mobilizing its drilling rig, currently situated at the Elijah #3 well, to resume production testing operations on the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well as soon as possible within approximately two weeks.

Zion Rig Elijah 3

Zion drilled the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well to a depth of 17,913 feet (5,460 meters). The well penetrated a number of geologic formations that have been preliminarily deemed to have hydrocarbon potential and a small quantity of crude oil has been recovered and analyzed.

Zion completed drilling the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well in September 2009 and decided, based on the best information then available, to move its drilling rig to begin drilling its Elijah #3 well. Zion’s intention was to attempt to test and complete the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well with a small workover rig. In December 2009, as planned, the Company brought in a small workover rig to conduct swabbing operations on the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well.

Due in part to personnel transitions and a shortage of adequate equipment in Israel to conduct satisfactory completion operations on the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well, the Company was not planning to resume testing operations on the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well until sometime in March or April of 2010.

However, given previously reported operational challenges on the Elijah #3 well, Bill Ottaviani, Zion’s newly appointed President and Chief Operating Officer, decided that a temporary suspension of operations at the Elijah #3 was a prudent course of action in order to expedite production testing at the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well.

Mr. Ottaviani commented, “Following the drilling of our Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well, we have continued to observe evidence of reservoir pressure and the presence of hydrocarbons at the surface. Our geologists have identified several potential hydrocarbon-bearing intervals from the diagnostic data acquired when the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well was drilled. We are currently fine-tuning our plans for production testing these intervals and are looking forward to resuming operations at the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well. As we have stated in the past, we are unsure as to whether we have made a discovery of any hydrocarbon reservoir or, if such a reservoir exists, whether it would be commercially viable.”

Zion’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Rinberg, said today that, “We have every expectation to resume activity on the Elijah #3 well in the not-too-distant future, once we conclude on the best course of action for this well. Based on our current geologic assessment, we remain excited about the hydrocarbon potential in this license area and look forward to ‘making hole’ once again at this location. While we temporarily step back from one well to reconfigure our next steps, we are quickly ramping-up activity at another, as we continue to implement our multi-well strategy.”

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.

Zion Oil Jan 15 Update

January 22, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

Zion Oil & Gas Newsletter

January 15, 2010

Dear Shareholder and/or Friend of Zion…

There has been quite some discussion by our staff regarding Zion’s weekly updates, as not every week contains ‘news to report’ on every part of our exploration license and permit areas.

The general feeling was that if there is nothing new to report then we should simply state that fact. There will be weeks with much to report and there will be weeks with little to nothing new to report.

Turning to the Book of Ecclesiastes (1:9-10), there is the well known comment:
What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

Is there anything of which one can say, “Look! This is something new”? It was here already, long ago; it was here before our time.
So, I am not going to continually repeat information that has already been sent to you. Where there is ‘no news to report this week’, I will write just that. But you can be certain that we are doing our best to move Zion’s exploration program forward… every day of every week.

This past week, Zion’s Founder and Chairman, John Brown, visited Israel together with Bill Ottaviani, a Petroleum Engineer who spent 25 years (1982 to 2007) working for Chevron Corporation in various countries and then two years (2007-2009) as Chief Operating Officer of Rex Energy, helping to build up Rex Energy in the USA. John Brown invited Bill Ottaviani to visit Israel as a prospective candidate for Zion’s Board and to review our operations and help advise us regarding some of the recommendations currently under technical evaluation.

Also, this week, we were visited by a team from ‘Halman-Aldubi Group’ one of Israel’s leading institutional Investment Management groups. Halman-Aldubi is the only company in Israel that deals with the management of provident funds on behalf of the public and is completely independent.

There was some Israeli Oil & Gas news released in Israel, this week. On Wednesday, January 13, 2010, the Jerusalem Post noted that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has ordered work to begin, this month, on a natural gas pipeline that will run from Dor Beach, south of Haifa, up to the oil refineries in Haifa. The significance of the Israeli government continuing to build the onshore natural gas pipeline infrastructure is that, in the event that we are successful in finding and producing commercial quantities of natural gas, the supply and distribution of that natural gas should be possible through the onshore pipeline system.

Here is this week’s operations update.

Drilling Operations at the Elijah #3 Well

The Elijah #3 site L to R: Bill Ottaviani, Richard Rinberg (Zion’s CEO), John Brown (Zion’s Founder and Chairman), Eyal Shuker (Investment Manager at Halman-Aldubi), Sandra Green (Zion’s CFO) and two analysts from Halman-Aldubi

The Elijah #3 well has been cased from the surface down to 6,706 feet (2,044 meters).

For the period from ‘spudding’ the well (that is ‘beginning drilling operations’) to December 31, 2009, we drilled to a depth of approximately 9,186 feet (2,800 meters), at an average rate of penetration of approximately 131 feet (40 meters) per day.

As of this morning, the Elijah #3 well has been drilled to a depth of approximately 10,938 feet (3,334 meters).

Both last week and this week, we have been drilling in the Asher Volcanic Complex, composed of tuffs, weathered basalts, non-weathered basalts, red shales and red and tan mudstones.

The Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 Well

The Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 Well Site, showing the well head
No additional news to report this week.

The Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well was drilled to a depth of 17,913 feet (5,460 meters). The well penetrated a number of geologic formations that have been preliminarily deemed to have hydrocarbon potential and we retrieved a small quantity of crude oil. We are awaiting analysis of that oil and are evaluating recommendations by our engineering staff regarding further testing and possible completion procedures.

The Issachar-Zebulun Permit Area

No additional news to report this week.

We have been reprocessing all of the existing seismic and are planning to acquire, in March 2010, approximately 30 kilometers of field seismic, in the permit area.

Finally, I’ll note that we have begun preliminary discussions with Aladdin Middle East Ltd regarding the drilling of an additional well, in order to progress and implement our multi-well program.
“In your good pleasure, make Zion prosper…”
Psalm 51:18
Thank you for your support of Zion, and

Shalom from Israel

Richard Rinberg

CEO of Zion Oil & Gas, Inc.


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, timing and potential results thereof and plans contingent thereon and rights offering 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.

Contact Information

More information about Zion is available at www.zionoil.com or by contacting Michael Williams at Zion Oil & Gas, Inc., 6510 Abrams Rd., Suite 300, Dallas, TX 75231; telephone 1-214-221-4610; email: dallas@zionoil.comhone: 1-888-891-9466

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“.

Asher’s Shoes of Iron and Brass?

November 6, 2009 by · 3 Comments 

I just stumbled on something fascinating regarding the mention of Asher’s ‘shoes’ in Deuteronomy. 33:25, “Thy shoes shall be iron and brass; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.” (KJV). My father, Jim Spillman, as you may know, was the man who first publicly theorized that Jacob’s Blessing contained a promise of a massive oil discovery in Israel in his book, The Great Treasure Hunt. Part of his thesis included Deuteronomy 33:24 “And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil.” That scripture was only a small part of the evidence linking Jacob’s Blessing to an Israeli oil discovery.

The passage directly following “let him dip his foot in oil” (Deuteronomy33:25, above) states that Asher’s “shoes shall be iron and brass”. The working components of oil rigs are constructed of a combination of iron and brass in order to prevent sparking, in order to prevent oil fires. Dad always believed that Asher’s ‘shoes’ being iron and brass referred to oil rigs being constructed of iron and brass components and thus, a further fulfillment of prophecy.

Dad studied the Bible in Hebrew and Greek but the English translation he preferred was the King James Version. Something that bothered me was that other English Bible versions translated “shoes” as “bars” (ESV) or “bolts of your gates” (NIV). So I searched out the Hebrew word all these versions were translating.

Here’s what I found: The Hebrew word translated ‘shoes’ in the KJV is ‘man’al’ – Strong’s literal meaning in English is “a bolt:shoe” The definition didn’t sink in at first because I was a little bothered about something else I discovered – this was the only time in the Bible that the Hebrew word ‘man’al’ was used as ‘shoes’. Every other mention of ‘shoe’ or ‘shoes’ in the Bible was the Hebrew word ‘na’al’ which was the common term meaning a ‘shoe’ one would wear on his foot. So clearly, there was a difference between Asher’s ‘shoes’ in Deut. 33:25 and all the other ‘shoes’ mentioned in the Bible.

I found that ‘man’al’ (bolt/shoe) and ‘na’al’ (common term for shoe) had the same root, ‘nâ’al’ (different pronunciation than ‘na’al’) – meaning ‘to fasten up’. Both the Hebrew words for ‘bolt’ and ‘shoe’ come from the same root, ‘to fasten up’, because both are ‘fastened’. Only the Deut. 33:25 word ‘man’al’ carries the double meaning of bolt and shoe!

So it looks like old Dad was righter than he thought. Asher’s ‘shoes/bolts’ will be iron and brass!

A final note: When the Zion Oil crew is finished with the hole at Elijah #3, they will most likely install a heavy, cylindrical section of steel filled with concrete at the end of the casing string. This is to prevent the casing string from hanging up in the hole. The proper term for the heavy steel section at the end of the casing? The guide shoe.

“Thy shoes shall be of iron and brass …” Amazing!

CelticBlowout-aftermath“After snuffing, the wellhead must be ‘capped’ to stop the flow of fuel. During this time, the fuel and oxygen required to create another inferno is present in copious amounts. At this perilous stage, one small spark (perhaps from a steel or iron tool striking a stone) or other heat source might re-ignite the fuel. To prevent re-ignition, brass or bronze tools, which do not strike sparks, or paraffin coated tools are used during the capping process.” (From: “Fire at the Wellhead”)

Zion Oil Begins Drilling Elijah #3

October 29, 2009 by · 7 Comments 

According to Zion CEO Richard Rinberg’s ‘Zion Oil & Gas Newsletter’, Zion Oil began drilling the Elijah #3 well last week and by last Friday’s report, drilling depth on the Elijah #3 had reached 400 feet.

coo-report-2009-1 27The Elijah #3 well site is located on northern Israel’s coastal plain near Mount Carmel, between Caesarea and Haifa, in Zion’s ‘Asher/Menashe” license area. Zion Oil’s Elijah #3 isn’t the first oil well to be drilled in this area and Zion Oil isn’t the first company to come to this region, known in the Bible as the ‘foot of Asher’, seeking the fulfillment of an ancient Bible prophecy. And of Asher he said, Let Asher be blessed with children; let him be acceptable to his brethren, and let him dip his foot in oil.‘” (Deuteronomy 33:24)

Wesley Hancock

In 1961, Bible believing Californian, Wesley Hancock was awarded an exploration license area of 97,000 acres including Mount Carmel and extended into parts of the Jezreel Valley, known as the “Valley of Megiddo,” site of the prophesied last days battle of Armageddon. Armed with a report forecasting Israel’s oil potential, and his Asher passage in Deuteronomy 33, Wesley went looking for Asher’s oil. On September 19, 1963 Wesley spudded the Asher #1, north and east of Mount Carmel near Haifa. Asher #1 had reached a depth of 7,800 feet when the drill head twisted off, taking seven drill collars with it. After the twist-off, chances of drilling any deeper were nil. By January of 1964, testing in the hole above 7,800 feet revealed that the Asher #1 was dry. In 1965 Wesley commissioned a hydrocarbon survey of his license area. This was the first petroleum survey of its kind in Northern Israel. The survey results led to choosing his location for the Asher #2 well. Hancock drilled the Asher #2 to a depth of 4,300 feet and core samples showed traces of oil. The Asher #2, however, was shut down; Hancock, without any other investors, had run out of money and was unable to continue drilling.

Gilman Hill

In 1979 Gilman Hill, an American evangelical Christian, came to Israel looking for Asher’s oil. According to Hill, God directed him to drill for oil and showed him the well’s location during a 1978 tour of Mount Carmel. Gill had completed preliminary geological surveys and fulfilled permit requirements to begin drilling by 1980.
Hill’s well, Elijah #1, was planned to be drilled to the upper Triassic strata, a depth of 15,000 to 16,000 feet. At 8,900 feet Gilman halted the drilling. According to Hill, God gave him the message, “circumstances have changed,” Gil was convinced that he was to cease drilling until further notice from God. Gil continued his geologic research for another six years waiting for a Divine release to resume drilling. The release never came. After spending $6 million of his own money on Mount Carmel, drawn by the Bible’s promise that Asher would “dip his foot in oil,” Gilman Hill had failed to find the elusive flow.

Andy SoRelle

atlit Castle

Crusader Castle at Atlit

About the same time Hill started drilling Elijah #1, a Texas oil man named Andy SoRelle was busy preparing to drill the Atlit #1 well near Haifa, known as the Asher Project. SoRelle’s well was spudded in February 1981, the same year Jim Spillman’s book, The Great Treasure Hunt,  was released. Spillman and SoRelle were mutual supporters, each understandably interested in the work of the other. Throughout the Asher Project  SoRell updated Spillman on the progress of the well they both believed would strike the oil God had promised.
At 9,400 feet the drill bit hit volcanic rock.  They drilled down through another 7600 feet before finally coming into limestone again. The drill bit, now at 17,296 feet was way beyond the rig’s capacity. Fearing he would lose the hole, Atlit’s drilling supervisor shut down the operation until a larger rig could be brought in.
December 28, 1982 a new drill rig, rated at 26,000 feet was installed over the original hole. This new phase, dubbed the Atlit #II was planned to bring the well as deep as 23,000 feet. By February of 1983 the well had been cleaned out and depth had been increased to 18,000 feet.
Drilling continued without incident until, at 20,570 feet Atlit II struck oil! What oil experts call “very good shows” came to the surface; graded as light oil at 35 to 40 degrees API. SoRelle continued to a final depth of 21,431 feet. The zone of oil bearing rock, was estimated at 470 feet, from 20,570 to 21,309 feet. Two years after spudding, the drilling phase of the Atlit well was finally complete!
During development problems emerged again. Financing for the project had been on a shoe-string at best. The crew had stopped casing the well at 13,772 feet.  Not having funds for additional casing and reasoning that the volcanic rock they had struggled through was stable enough to hold the hole open the crew had continued drilling in “open hole.”

As the crew was cleaning the hole in preparation for the production casing, drill collars stuck at 18,669 ft and two weeks of jarring would not break them loose. Special equipment was flown to retrieve the string (130 ft. in length) and, while cleaning the hole to “fish” with the new equipment they stuck again at the 17,772 ft mark. After ten more days of trying to break loose, they came out leaving another 8 ½ foot fish in the hole.

August 24, 1983, more than two and a half years after spudding, Andy SoRelle called it quits for the Atlit hole.  Having spent more than $25 million, his own money and that of his investors, Andy gave up on the Atlit well.

The history of the search for Asher’s oil doesn’t seem very promising. But if God said of Asher, ‘… let him dip his foot in oil …’ then I’m convinced He’ll keep His promise in His own time. One thing I do know; the oil is down there. Hancock saw it and SoRelle saw it. That Asher’s oil exists is a fact, when it will be brought to the surface is the only question.

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