Zion Oil & Gas today announced that on December 21st in the city of Nazareth, Israel’s Northern District Committee held a formal, non-public meeting during which committee members unanimously decided to grant Zion Oil & Gas approval of their exploratory Drilling Request (“Hafkada”), including the environmental impact assessment (“EIA”). This is a critically important step to drill a well under Israel’s complex, detailed, and extensive regulatory process. The Northern District Committee, representing the final word from the local, regional, and national governing authorities, was comprised of 17 members and the approval vote was unanimous.
The Drilling Request / “Hafkada” (“Deposit” in english)is a series of documents that comprise the plans for exploratory drilling for petroleum (oil & natural gas) and the required operations to perform the drilling operations, according to Israel’s Petroleum Law and Regulations. This is the culmination of many months and hundreds of man-hours of work by Zion’s dedicated team of professionals (including geologists, geophysicists, engineers, accountants, advisors, consultants, attorneys, etc.). This follows a two-month “public comment” period during which any member of the public could file a complaint against Zion’s plan to explore for oil and gas. Only one complaint was registered, which, after a minor revision by Zion, was removed.
The final step in the process is for Zion to submit this approved “Hafkada” along with our Application to Drill to Israel’s Energy Ministry for their final drilling program approval, which we anticipate in January 2016. Assuming there are no further regulatory or weather delays, we will begin drill site construction soon and it should take 30-45 days to complete. Zion still plans to commence drilling on the Megiddo-Jezreel #1 well to approximately 15,000 feet, in the first quarter of 2016.
Also this past week, Zion received its order for over 3900 meters (~465 tons!) of oil and gas casing for its well. This new casing is to be used along with Zion’s in-stock casing and tubing totaling another 9000 meters.
Zion is currently in a bond offering available only to its shareholders through January 15, 2016. For more information on Zion’s bond offering click here.