Israel Strikes Oil

September 10, 2008 by  

(Prophecy Today Archive October 13, 2006) Story by Shofar Communications Jerusalem Bureau Chief Ed Horner; Photos by Allison Horner. Article courtesy of Prophecy Today. The original article can be viewed at

Surrounded by the richest oil countries in the world, many would wonder why Israel has never found oil. Now they have. Ginko Oil Exploration, led by Dr. Eli Tannenbaum, has located a potentially large oil field in the Dead Sea region of Israel.

Oil Discovered in Israel

The Dead Sea, near a large oil deposit
Oil Discovered in Israel

Dr. Tannembaum and other specialists on site

In an effort to attract financial partners to harvest the oil, Ginko Oil Exploration reopened a small previously drilled oil well near the Dead Sea and began extracting oil. In an on site interview with Dr. Tannenbaum, he said this first strike is very exciting because it shows that there is oil in the region that can be harvested. He said that Ginko will begin drilling the second well within two months and that the second well should produce a much more significant amount of oil.

Oil Discovered in Israel

An exploration oil rig
Oil Discovered in Israel

One step in the process of oil extraction

Dr. Tannenbaum says that this oil region is not directly connected with surrounding oil fields, but that the sources of the oil deep inside the earth’s crust could be related. He said the oil field in the Dead Sea region is on a deep rift (or tear) similar to Libyan or Egyptian oil fields. The Dead Sea region is the lowest point on earth at almost 400 meters below sea level. Tannenbaum says that he does not foresee Israel’s drilling of oil to be detrimental to surrounding nations’ oil fields.

Oil Discovered in Israel

Ed speaks with Dr. Tannenbaum
Oil Discovered in Israel

Ed speaks with Ginko Exploration’s Site Supervisor

Ginko Exploration’s Site Supervisor said that Israel currently has two oil refineries that could refine the newly extracted crude oil. The extracted crude oil would be taken to the refineries by truck. Israel does not currently have an oil pipeline from this region, and it would most likely not need one in the near future.

Oil Discovered in Israel

Here is Israel’s future oil field
Oil Discovered in Israel

Lead Geologist, Dr. Eli Tannenbaum

My wife and I had the privilege of watching some of Israel’s first oil being pumped from 1800 Meters beneath our feet. Ginko began dismantling the exploration rig while we were on site. They were then going to place a permanent pump on the well as the first of many in the region.

Oil Discovered in Israel

The flow of oil must be carefully monitored
Oil Discovered in Israel

A head on oil well

Israelis currently pay the highest gas prices in the Middle East. Gasoline is approximately $6.50 per gallon and Diesel is $5 per gallon. If Israel could produce its own fuel, it could mean lower prices at the pump for the average Israeli.

Oil Discovered in Israel

The oil is just flowing from this dig

Oil Discovered in Israel

Oil being extracted

Oil in Israel can mean less economic dependence on oil from surrounding countries. It could also mean fewer political negotiations with oil producing countries that routinely plot the demise of Israel.

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7 Responses to “Israel Strikes Oil”

  1. Neil on December 29th, 2008 6:51 am

    Wouldn’t it be great if Israel was a net exporter of petroleum to the USA & the free world in general!!!

  2. Neil on January 18th, 2009 2:27 pm


  3. Dr. Simcha Baker on October 1st, 2009 1:21 am

    As Exploration Manager and Chief Geologist for INOC (Israel National Oil Company) from 1992-1997, I was responsible with assistance from my staff for prospect origination (April, 1994), drilling and testing of the Zuk Tamrur #3 well (late 1994-early 1995). In addition, I was also the prospect originator of the Zuk Tamrur #4 prospect and wrote the Recommendation for Drilling book, which was issued in May, 1996. Inasmuch as the location of the proposed #4 well in both Ginko’s and my evaluation is 3 kilometers north of the #3 location and that my estimate of unrisked expected oil potential is 6.4 million barrels as compared to the 6.5 million barrel estimate of Ginko, makes me wonder what Ginko may have added to my original evaluation 13+ years ago. Don’t get me wrong. I am not after any personal gain, credit or glory. My purpose is to “clear the air” as to how Ginko arrived at this prospect which it touts as its own and the consequences of such unwarranted credit-taking in terms of public relations and fund raising. Also, I have no problem with Ginko drilling my prospect. My good friend, Dr. Eli Tannenbaum, then as owner of Kimron, was the geochemical consultant for INOC during the 1990′s and was familiar with all of INOC’s exploration philosophy and prospects (ZT#3 and ZT#4). INOC did not drill the ZT-4 well because the Israeli government back then (under Prime Minister Netanyahu’s term) privatized INOC. Kudos to Ginko for having the wherewithal, both financially and politically, to get the ZT#4 well drilled now.

    Oh, by the way, I have returned to Israel after 9 years absence. I have already identified geologically and fully documented the complete story (where, how and why) as to where the oil (that’s oil) MUST be trapped, and surprisingly the upper limit of the trapped oil is 2 billion barrels of oil. See the Jerusalem Post American Edition of March 5, 1999 where, incredibaly, both Exxon in 1962 (“the potential ultimate oil resources of Israel should be of the order of 500-2,000 million barrels from primary recovery”) and Shell in 1979 (“that on-shore Israel has a potential of 330-2,000 million barrels of recoverable oil”) determined such a similar upper limit! Side note: Saudi Arabia is approximately 100 times larger in area than Israel and has about 200 billion barrels of recoverable oil, which is 100 times larger than Israel’s potential 2 billion barrels. In other words, Israel may have as much oil relatively (proportionally) speaking as Saudi Arabia! Let’s face it: Would the good Lord have it any other way!! Two billion barrels of oil will provide Israel with approximately 20 years of oil energy independence at today’s rate of consumption. The oil is there in Israel – that is a geological given; oil hunters in Israel just need to look in the right spot. I have performed all of the scientic evaluation to reduce the risk. Hint: The ‘elephant’ (very large oil accummulations) hunting grounds for giant and supergiant fields in Israel is EAST (I said ‘EAST’) of the Heletz Ridge and WEST (I said ‘WEST’) of the Judean Hills. Financial note: Two billion barrels of oil at today’s US$70/barrel equals US$140 billion in gross revenue (before expenses and taxes) over a maximum timeframe of 20 years!

    Is anybody interested? Does anybody care? Enough said for now. I will answer any inquiries and questions as the need arises, but oviously will not expose any proprietary knowledge without proper arrangements and agreements. I wiol also monitor this site for any responses.

  4. Dr. Simcha Baker on October 1st, 2009 10:46 pm

    Apparently, nobody has yet read my previous comment where I have strategically placed 3 spelling errors. And it appears that nobody is interested or cares – at least not yet. Those errors are:
    1- I have performed all of the ‘scientic’ (read ‘scientific’) evaluation to reduce the risk. This evaluation includes regional geology, basin analysis, well data from previous wells drilled, geophysical (seismic) interpretation, geochemical data, world-wide analogues, geological history, sea-level changes, faulting effects, and identification of the petroleum system responsible for the potential oil and/or natural gas reservoirs. Recommendation for Drilling books have been completed which includes well locations, engineering, financial and economic analyses for the prospect(s);
    2- …but ‘oviously’ (read ‘obviously)… This one is obviously self-explanatory; and
    3- I ‘wiol’ (read ‘will’) also monitor this site for any responses. That I will continue to do!

  5. bob woodland on October 15th, 2009 7:46 pm

    Dr. Baker,

    Thank you for your efforts to help Israel to locate & recover oil. I am a Christian supporter of Israel as well as an investor in Zion Oil.
    I’d be intrested to know your thoughts on Zion Oil’s chances of finding and recovering oil/gas in northern Israel. Especially in light of Noble Oil’s recent huge gas find off shore from where Zion oil is drilling.

    Thank you in advance!
    Bob Woodland

  6. JT on October 15th, 2009 10:04 pm

    Dear Dr. Baker, I read your post. Thank you, very interesting. One more recovered error to report.

    4 – …March 5, 1999 where, incredibaly (incredibly), both Exxon in 1962…

    I would like to ask your opinion on a few items.

    (1) What is your opinion about the 6.3 Tcu natural gas discovery off the coast of Haifa? Do you forsee more discoveries in this area.

    (2) What are your thoughts on the work that Zion Oil & Gas is doing in the North part of Israel. Has anyone else drilled down to the Permian layer in Israel.

    (3) Let’s say someone finds 1B BBL of recoverable oil. What will be the reaction in the middle east.

    Thank You & G-d Bless.

  7. Ken West on February 9th, 2011 9:50 am

    There has to be a reason why Russia or “Gog & Magog” want to invade Israel and that reason is OIL. Once the oil from Israel starts to flow the price will drop and the oil rich Countries will see their control in the world drop.

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