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