THE SEARCH FOR OIL IN THE LAND OF ISRAEL
A BIBLICAL TREASURE HUNT
By Philip Mandelker
SCRIPTURALLY INSPIRED / INFLUENCED PETROLEUM
EXPLORATION IN ISRAEL
1. Company: Asher Oil Company
Founder: Wesley Hancock. California based. A family company was active in oil and gas exploration in the United States.
Scriptural Basis: Blessing of Asher in Deuteronomy and story of Elijah’s sacrifice in I Kings.
Period of Activity: Early-middle 1960s.
Area of Activity: North-east flank of Mt. Carmel overlooking the plain of the Kishon Stream.
Primary Activity: Drilling of two wells:
(i) Asher #1: 1963 – drilled to 2,391 meters (7,845 ft) to a target in the Middle Jurassic. Results: Dry.
(ii) Asher #2: 1965 – drilled to 1,314 meters (4,311 ft) to a target in the Middle Jurassic. Results: Dry
Related Non-Scripturally Inspired Drilling:
In 1975, Sonol, a major Israeli gasoline marketing company reentered the Asher #2 well and deepened it to 2,596 meters (8,517 ft) to a target in the Early Jurassic. In 1980, OEL, an Israeli-government exploration company drilled the Asher #3 near the first two Asher wells to 574 meters (1,883 ft) to a Cretaceous target. Both these wells were dry.
2. Company: Energy Exploration Inc.
Founder: Andy Sorelle. Texas based petroleum engineer and wildcatter.
Scriptural Basis: Blessing of Asher in Deuteronomy
Period of Activity: First half of 1980s.
Area of Activity: Coastal plain between Mt. Carmel and the Mediterranean Sea, specifically in the area of the town of Atlit.
Primary Activity: Drilling of one well in two stages:
(i) Atlit #1: 1981 – drilled to 5,273 meters (17,301 ft) to a target in the Early Jurassic. Results: Dry
(ii) Atlit #1 Deep: 1982-1983 – deepened the Atlit #1 to 6,531 meters (21,428 ft) to target in Late Triassic. Results: asphalt and then light oil shows in cuttings before well was lost for technical reasons.
3. Company: Moriah Exploration
Founder: Gilman Hill. Colorado based geoscientist active in oil and gas exploration and developer of exploration technology.
Scriptural Basis: Story of Elijah’s sacrifice in I Kings and the Blessing of Asher in Deuteronomy.
Period of Activity: Early and mid-1980s.
Area of Activity: Mt. Carmel near the traditional site of the Elijah sacrifice.
Primary Activity: Drilling of two wells in 1980 and 1986:
(i) Elijah #1: 1980 – drilled to 2,682 meters (8,800 ft) to a target in the Middle Jurassic. Results: Dry.
(ii) Elijah #2: 1986 – drilled to 651 meters (2,136 ft) to a target in the Cenomanian. Results: Dry.
4. Company: Ness Energy
Founder: Harold “Hayseed” Stephens. A Texas oil and gas explorationist and operator.
Scriptural Basis: Genesis stories of Sodom and Gomorrah and a long series of scriptural references in various books of the Old Testament.
Period of Activity: 1980s and late 1990s-2001.
Area of Activity: Area surrounding the southwest quadrant of the Dead Sea and adjacent areas.
Primary Activity: Participation in drilling of one well in 1985; acquisition of certain exploration licenses in the late 1990s. The well, the Har Sedom #1 was targeted to be drilled to about 3,500 meters about 11,500 ft), but was lost for technical reasons at 1,818 meters (5,965 ft) in the Pliocene. The exploration licenses were lost following the failure of Ness to meet its obligations under the licenses to commence the drilling of wells on the license areas.
Related Non-Scripturally Inspired Drilling Activity
The Har Sedom #1 project and well were developed and operated by an Israeli commercial oil exploration company, Seismica. Ness Energy held a minority working interest (about 15%) in the well.
5. Company: Hoshana Oil Company
Founder: Bernard Coffindaffer. West Virginia based evangelical minister and missionary.
Scriptural Basis: Blessings of Asher, Zebulon and Issachar in Deuteronomy
Period of Activity: Early 1990s
Area of Activity: Southern flank of Mt. Carmel and the Valley of Jezreel just east of the South-eastern flank of Mt. Carmel.
Primary Activity: Acquisition of an exploration license and reprocessing and analysis of seismic data. License lapsed with no progress made towards drilling of well.
6. Company: Camberly Exploration
Founder: Lyle Harron. Canadian oil and gas explorationist.
Scriptural Basis: Blessings of Asher in Deuteronomy
Period of Activity: Early-middle 1990s.
Area of Activity: Coastal plain between Mt. Carmel and the Mediterranean Sea.
Primary Activity: Drilling of one well:
(i) Atlit #2: 1996 – drilled to 1,633 meters (5,388 ft) to a target in the Early Cretaceous. Results: Dry.
7. Company: Givot Olam Oil Exploration
Founder: Tovia Luskin. Russian born and educated geophysicist, active in oil and gas exploration in Canada and Australia, before moving to Israel.
Scriptural Basis: The Blessings of Joseph in Genesis and Deuteronomy
Period of Activity: 1990s to date
Area of Activity: Eastern portion of Sharon Plain between Netanya and Modiin
Primary Activity: Drilling of three wells commencing in 1994:
(i) Meged #2: 1994 – drilled to 5,200 meters (17,061 ft) to a target in the Triassic. Results: 400 API Silurian aged oil recovered from the Middle Triassic.
(ii) Meged #3: 2000 – drilled to 4,742 meters (15,683 ft) to a target in the Triassic. Results: Oil and gas shows in the Middle Triassic, but reservoir of very poor quality (very low porosity and permeability.)
(iii) Meged #4: 2002/3 – drilled to 4,919 meters (16,139 ft) to a target in the Triassic. Results: 360 API Silurian aged oil recovered from the Middle Triassic. Attempts in 2005 to drill a horizontal bore-hole in the well in an attempt to recover the oil which is located in tight reservoir rock failed apparently for technical reasons, with the well abandoned following loss of equipment in the horizontal bore.
Plans underway to drill another Meged well and attempt to develop the Meged field discovery, which was recognized by the Israel Petroleum Commissioner in 2004.
8. Company: Zion Oil & Gas, Inc.
Founder: John Brown. Michigan and Texas based businessman with roots in the machine-tool industry and active in building contracting sectors.
Scriptural Basis: The Blessings of Joseph in Genesis and Deuteronomy.
Period of Activity: 1990s to date.
Area of Activity: Manasseh hills and Sharon plain from the southern flanks of Mt. Carmel to Netanya.
Primary Activity: Drilling of a well in 2005:
(i) Ma’anit #1: (Re-entry) 2005 – deepening of previously abandoned Ma’anit #1 from 2,335 meters (7,661 ft) to 4,719 meters (15,483 ft) to targets in the Middle and Early Triassic. Results: The company announced that during drilling and completion operations, the well had numerous significant oil and gas shows in a 2,100-foot interval.
Analysis of the results of the well is continuing and future activity, including designing comprehensive completion procedure and drilling of an appraisal well being considered.
Related Non-Scripturally Inspired Drilling Activity:
The Ma’anit #1 was originally drilled to 2,335 meters (7,661 ft) in 1995 by an Israeli commercial oil exploration company, Sdot Neft. Though originally targeted to 4,500 meters (14,765 ft), it was abandoned as a dry hole after Sdot Neft ran out of money
(for a PDF Download of Philip Mandelker’s entire study go to: http://www.oilinisrael.net/resources/biblical-treasure-hunt-free-pdf)
Zion Oil announced today (read the full press release below) that the delivery of the AME drilling rig to Israel will be delayed until January of 2009 due to Israeli government delays in processing AME’s work permits.
According to AME, other than the delay in processing work permits, machinery updating and refurbishment is complete and the drilling rig is sitting in Ankara, ready to ship.
On Zion’s side, completion of the site preparation and final government permissions are underway.
Anyone who has ever built a house knows about delays, like the building inspector not showing up when he’s scheduled. The inspector finally arrives and the house get completed. I don’t think the process changes much as the project’s grow in size.
The bottom line is that the rig is now scheduled to be in Israel in January rather than November, as previously expected. On the positive side, it looks like AME and their drilling equipment is ready to roll and Zion’s site preparations should be complete by the time the rig arrives in January. Pray for progress without further delays. And news of a bit turning in Northern Israel!
Here is Zion’s press release:
Zion Oil Updates Drilling Schedule
Dallas, Texas and Caesarea, Israel- November 7, 2008 – Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NYSE Alternext US: ZN) announced today updated information regarding the status and importation into Israel of the drilling rig and crews contracted for (on September 12, 2008) with Aladdin Middle East Ltd (AME). Under the terms of the contract, AME committed to provide a completely refurbished and updated 2,000 horsepower rig and crews to drill Zion’s planned Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well ‘directionally’ to below 18,000 feet.
AME has advised Zion that the drilling rig refurbishment has been successfully completed and that the rig stands ready in Ankara, Turkey. AME have started the process of obtaining Israeli work permits for their crews; however due to the relevant government office in Israel having been closed for most of October, the workers’ permitting process was delayed. It is now anticipated that the rig will be shipped out of Turkey in January 2009.
Zion has recently received positive notifications on almost all of the required Israeli permits (other than crew work permits) related to the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well and is now working on the location site to prepare it for the arrival of the rig.
As detailed in its registration statement, Zion is raising funds in order to pursue its planned multi-well drilling program. Depending on actual amounts raised, Zion intends to carry out the following work program: drill Zion’s second well, on Zion’s Joseph License, to the Triassic Formation (down to a depth of 15,400 feet) and / or to the Permian Formation (down to a depth of 18,040 feet), drill a test well on Zion’s Asher-Menashe License to the Triassic Formation and, if appropriate, the Permian Formation and prepare for the drilling of an additional well on either its Joseph or Asher-Menashe License.
Zion’s common stock trades on the NYSE Alternext US under the symbol ZN.
Before you invest, for more complete information about Zion Oil & Gas and its offering, you should read Zion’s registration statement (including a prospectus) together with the other documents Zion has filed with the SEC. You may get these documents for free by visiting EDGAR on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Alternatively, Zion Oil & Gas or its underwriter, Brockington Securities, Inc, will arrange to send you the prospectus if you request it by calling toll free 1-888-TX1-ZION (1-888-891-9466). Direct links to the SEC location, or to the documents in PDF, may be found on the home page of Zion Oil & Gas, at www.zionoil.com.
Zion Oil & Gas, Inc., a Delaware corporation, explores for oil and gas in Israel in areas located onshore between Tel-Aviv and Haifa. It currently holds two petroleum exploration licenses, the Joseph and Asher-Menashe Licenses, between Netanya on the south and Haifa on the north, covering a total of approximately 162,000 acres.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS: Statements in this press release that are not historical fact, including statements regarding Zion’s planned operations, potential results thereof and plans contingent thereon, including the importation of a drilling rig into Israel, the granting of various required permits, the selection of potential drilling targets and locations, 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 Oil & Gas, Inc. has filed a registration statement (including a prospectus) with the SEC for the offering to which this communication relates. Before you invest, you should read the prospectus in that registration statement and other documents the issuer has filed with the SEC for more complete information about Zion Oil & Gas and its offering. You may get these documents for free by visiting EDGAR on the SEC website at www.sec.gov. Alternatively, Zion Oil & Gas or its underwriter will arrange to send you the prospectus if you request it by calling toll free 1-888-TX1-ZION (1-888-891-9466). Direct links to the SEC location, or to the documents in PDF, may be found on the home page of Zion Oil & Gas. Inc., at www.zionoil.com.
Zion Oil & Gas, Inc.
6510 Abrams Rd., Suite 300
Dallas, TX 75231