Israel Discovers Natural Gas: Is Oil far Behind?

February 4, 2009 by · 13 Comments 

Last month Delek-Noble an energy exploration partnership, announced a massive natural gas discovery off Israel’s northern coast. According to reports, they may have enough natural gas to supply Israel’s needs for fifteen years.

In the energy exploration world it’s generally understood that where you find gas, you find oil and vice-versa. Zion Oil and Gas, founded by John Brown received its first onshore exploration license in 2000. Brown came to Israel in the 1980’s with the belief that a massive oil discovery for Israel was predicted in the pages of the Bible. With nothing but his Bible and his faith John Brown began his quest for Israel’s oil. The company now holds 162,000 acres under license in Northern Israel and is planning to drill its second well next month.

Last week I asked Zion CEO Richard Rinberg if Delek-Noble’s recent offshore discovery affects Zion’s chances of discovering oil and gas onshore, how the current world economy is playing into their exploration efforts and about Zion’s drilling plan.

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Steve Spillman: Delek and Noble Energy announced a massive natural gas discovery off the coast of Haifa earlier this month. How has this news affected the optimism of Israel’s citizens about the country’s energy future? How has it affected optimism for onshore oil and gas exploration?

Zion CEO Richard Rinberg (left) with AME drilling team

Zion CEO Richard Rinberg (left) with AME drilling team

Richard Rinberg: Due to the size of the offshore discovery, there’s little doubt that optimism in oil and gas exploration, both offshore and onshore, has increased.

At Zion Oil we are delighted, as this discovery is very good for Israel and we believe validates our belief that significant oil and gas reserves can be found in Israel.

The discovery also reinforces the decision by the Government of Israel to continue building the gas pipeline infrastructure and electric generating plants powered by natural gas.

Due to the high cost of developing this new field, surprisingly, the result may well be higher gas prices.

For years, the Israel Electric Company (IEC) has purchased gas at prices below the normal international market price. But with declining production from the Yam Tethy’s field, their reliance on natural gas to power five generating plants (with two more under construction),  and the uncertainty of Egyptian supply, IEC may no longer be in a position to ensure that the price that they pay for natural gas is below normal international market prices. If the price isn’t reasonable, then the owners of the new discovery can export their produced gas.

We believe that the market will be able to absorb any new gas finds and, as a result of this discovery, any natural gas that Zion may discover and produce could be worth more than estimated before this discovery.

SS: Do you think this discovery may have any direct relevance to what you expect to find in the Joseph and Asher license areas?

RR: There is no direct relevance to our exploration in terms of a continuation in a geological structure. Our expectation is unchanged – we are still very optimistic.

SS: The world economy has been pretty shaken up over the past several months. Oil prices have plummeted. How do the world economic situation and oil prices affect Zion’s exploration plans?

RR: In 2008, we implemented a $10-unit public offering and raised over $6.4 million in cash, in order to fund our drilling plans in Israel. The offering was certainly a success, but we were hoping to gather significantly more funds than we did. The world financial crisis had its negative effect on us, just as on everyone else.

Perhaps surprising to the person in the street, the fall in the price of oil is actually good for Zion’s drilling plans, as we will have cost savings of $500,000 to $700,000 as a result of lower shipping and transport costs and lower fuel costs during drilling. We are very happy to ‘suffer’ a low oil price during our drilling operations.

Of course, at a later stage… well let’s save that for another day.

SS: The Dow Jones Industrial Average has lost about forty percent of its value in the last year. Other world markets, including Israel’s have fared the same or worse. Zion just completed a public follow-on offering in which it raised more than $6.6 million and even though the company has yet to produce any oil; its stock value is higher now than when the company first went public. How do you account for a successful public offering and Zion’s stock value in the middle of the current economic meltdown?

RR: There are a number of different answers I could give, but perhaps the truth is ‘all of the answers, at the same time’.

Everyone who works at Zion believes in the uniqueness of our company and our goal to help Israel by finding oil and gas, onshore in Israel. I believe that the vast majority of our stockholders also recognize that Zion is not just another company. They purchased the stock to support our work and hold; it’s not just another trade.

Simply put, those who work at Zion or support Zion by owning stock have faith that all will eventually work out, in the Lord’s good time. Those who hold the stock just don’t want to let it go.

From a business standpoint, our goal is to build value into the company and, of course, success with our exploration work would inevitably be reflected by a higher stock price.

SS: Zion has contracted with the Turkish oil drilling company AME, for a 2,000 horsepower drilling rig. AME’s rig is bigger – can go deeper than any drilling rig currently available in Israel. My understanding is that the Israeli rig Zion used to drill the Ma’anit #1 well in 2005 wasn’t mechanically able to reach a depth beyond 15,500 feet. And it’s your opinion that the Ma’anit #1 failed to produce simply because the well wasn’t deep enough. Is that correct?

RR: We drilled the Ma’anit #1 well to a depth of 15,842 feet, to the Triassic formation, with encouraging results. However, due to the mechanical condition of the well-bore, in June 2007, we decide to abandon the well. The well failed to produce due to mechanical problems and not, we believe, because of the absence of oil and gas.

You are correct that the rig that we used back then was not capable of drilling any deeper than we actually did.

The whole reason for bringing a 2,000 horsepower rig into Israel is to enable us to ‘explore the deep’ and drill down to the Permian geological formation.

This time we have all the extensive knowledge gained during the drilling of the Ma’anit #1 well, so we are better prepared to deal with the mechanical problems than before.

SS: When is the AME rig expected to arrive at the Ma’anit Rehoboth #2 site? When do you expect to be drilling?

RR: We currently expect the drilling rig to arrive in Israel, rig-up and commence drilling in March 2009.

SS: Is the $6.6 million Zion raised in the follow-on offering enough to complete the project?

RR: Oil and gas exploration is a very expensive business and our project has much work ahead of it. There are many wells to be drilled on our license areas. So, we will proceed with our operational work, while at the same time keeping a weather eye on our cash reserves. At some stage, we hope and believe, Zion will become (very) cash-positive.

SS: What are Zion’s exploration plans beyond the Ma’anit Rehoboth #2 well?

RR: We are already planning our third well, the Elijah #3 well and have further plans that are, as yet, not in the public domain, so we cannot discuss them at present.

SS: Zion’s mission is to produce oil and gas in Israel. A major oil discovery in Israel will certainly have a significant economic impact on the country. Do you think the implications of Zion Oil & Gas accomplishing its mission will reach beyond economics?

RR: Without a doubt. Zion’s Founder and Chairman, John Brown, came to this project due to an idea planted in his mind by your father, Jim Spillman, and his book. John became convinced that the Holy Bible contained clear references to oil in Israel and the location where that oil may be found.

Over a number of years, John gathered a group of geologists and oil and gas professionals together, including Zion’s President and Chief Operating Officer, Glen Perry. Glen is an oil and gas professional who will readily tell you that this project is the most exciting he has ever been involved with in his long and successful career.

With success, John will say “See, the Book is true!” And for those who hear Zion’s story, there will certainly be much contemplation that something truly historical has occurred – perhaps even a spiritual awakening and the dawning of a new age.

Zion Oil Announces Revised Drilling Schedule

November 7, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

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

Contact:

Brittany Russell

Zion Oil & Gas, Inc.

6510 Abrams Rd., Suite 300

Dallas, TX 75231

(1) 214-221-4610

Email: dallas@zionoil.com

ZION OIL ISSUES UNITS IN INITIAL CLOSING

October 25, 2008 by · Leave a Comment 

Subscriptions Still Being Accepted

Dallas, Texas and Caesarea, Israel – October 24, 2008 – Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (NYSE Alternext US: ZN) announced that, today, the company issued 350,994 units in the initial closing of Zion’s follow-on offering. Each unit consists of one share of Zion stock and one warrant to purchase one share of Zion stock. The units were issued at $10 per unit and the amount raised in this initial closing was $3,509,940.
 
Zion continues to accept subscriptions at $10 per unit and the offering will remain open until the earlier of: (i) January 9, 2009, (ii) the date on which a total of 2,500,000 units have been subscribed and accepted, or (iii) such date as announced by the Company on no less than two trading days’ prior notice.
 
Zion has scheduled November 17, 2008 as the cut-off date for the receipt of documents to be included in the next interim closing.
 
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 and Zion’s units will trade under the symbol ZN.U
 
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 the future effectiveness of Zion’s registration statement, matters regarding the offering and closings thereof, Zion’s planned operations, potential results thereof and plans contingent thereon, including 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’s homepage may be found at: www.zionoil.com

Zion Oil & Gas Newsletter October 2008

October 17, 2008 by · 2 Comments 

I received the Zion Oil & Gas Newsletter and the latest press release today. In the middle of a global economic crisis, investors continue to stand behind Zion’s mission of discovering oil in Israel.  Zion is moving ahead as scheduled with plans for drilling their second well in November. Pay attention to the lines I put in underline and bold type. Something greater than ‘business as usual’ is going on at Zion Oil.

Here’s the Zion Newsletter and press release from CEO Richard Rinberg:

Zion CEO Richard RinbergDear Zion Shareholder and/or Friend of Zion…

 It is difficult to put into words the experience of the last few weeks. We are all living through such a remarkable and dramatic (even traumatic) period in world history. The economy looks and feels ‘broken’ and the healing may prove painful for all of us.  However, our trust is only in the Lord and not the stock market!  (Jer. 17:7)

 In Dallas, we received a phone call from a shareholder who was reviewing their stock portfolio and just had to call us and tell us that all of their retirement stocks were pretty much devastated in value, except one… there was only one steadfast rock in their portfolio – the stock of Zion Oil & Gas had maintained its value.

 Shortly after that phone call, a lawyer friend sent me a humorous email, as follows:

 ‘The Best Investment Plan:

 If you purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you have $49 today.

 If you purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you have $33 today.

 If you purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you have $0 today.

 But, if you purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans forthe recycling refund, you will have received $214.00.

Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle.’

 I sent my friend the following reply:

 …and if you had purchased $1,000 of Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. on October 3rd 2007, you would have today $995. So, I disagree with the beer plan… better to go with the Lord’s plan…

During one of the severest stock market collapses in recent decades, our follow-on $10 unit offering was successfully able to reach the minimum subscription by the due date of October 11, 2008. Every day, I watched the tally of subscriptions received. One week before the due date, I commented that if we were able to reach the minimum subscription, it would be a clear miracle from heaven.

On the very last day, we received substantial and completely unexpected subscriptions… and exceeded our required minimum subscription amount.

 I was a witness to what happened. I saw the miracle unfold. It was a deeply moving experience.

 Although we have announced (see the October 16 Press Release below) a scheduled initial closing on October 21, 2008, our $10 unit offering is still accepting subscriptions. So, it is not too late for you to subscribe and support our work in Israel. We still need both your prayer and financial support.

(I Chron. 29:10-14)

AME RigThe 2,000 horsepower drilling rig is scheduled to arrive in Israel in November 2008 and we hope that you will want to subscribe for some Zion $10 units, in order to be part of the exploration effort for oil and gas in Israel.

I cannot promise, but I for one will not be surprised if we all see a further miracle in the coming months…

Psalm 51:18 – In your good pleasure, make Zion prosper…

Shalom from Israel

Richard Rinberg

CEO of Zion Oil & Gas, Inc.

P.S. Full details of the offer are set out in the Prospectus which is available for download and review on our website www.zionoil.com under “Investor Center” If you would prefer a hard copy of the Prospectus, please call: 1-888-TX1-ZION (1-888-891-9466) or email: dallas@zionoil.com

 

 

 

 

 

Zion Oil Announces Initial Closing of Follow-on Offering and Extends Termination Date

Subscriptions Still Being Accepted

Press Release  Thursday October 16, 2008

 DALLAS, Texas & CAESAREA, Israel–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. (AMEX: ZN) announced today that it received subscriptions on or before October 11, 2008 in excess of the minimum number of units required to conduct an initial closing. An initial closing is scheduled to take place on October 21, 2008. As the minimum subscriptions in order to close were received by October 11, 2008, Zion has withdrawn the recently filed post effective amendment which was filed to extend the minimum raise date and the final termination date.

Pursuant to the original terms of the offering, Zion is also extending the offering termination date. The offering will remain open until the earlier of: (i) January 9, 2009, (ii) the date on which a total of 2,500,000 Units have been subscribed and accepted, or (iii) such date as announced by the Company on no less than two trading days’ prior notice.

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 American Stock Exchange under the symbol ZN.

Before you invest, Zion’s registration statement (including a prospectus) to which this communication relates should be read along with the other documents it 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, 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.