As ‘Green Groups’ continue to protest, Afek seeks additional permits to advance to next stage of exploration, if reports of “promising findings” from target layer, is accurate. But it is too soon to know whether the material found relates to crude oil, gas, or oil shale.
By Hezi Sternlicht
Israel’s energy industry continues to bubble: A mere two days after the sudden resignation of Antitrust Authority head David Gilo, reports by the Jini energy exploration company, which has been contracted by the Afek company to conduct its exploratory oil drilling on the Golan Heights indicate that the company has promising findings from the target layer.
Has exploratory drilling on the Golan struck black gold? – Photo: Jini
The company is currently conducting exploratory drilling on the southern Golan Heights. According to assessments in the energy sector, the company will gradually move northward — permits allowing — to investigate whether additional oil reserves exist at the target depth.
Although the findings indicate the existence of hydrocarbons at the target depth of the drilling site on the southern part of the Golan, it is still too early to know whether the material is oil, gas, or oil shale, or whether drilling there is commercially viable — in other words, whether there are sufficient reserves to cover the cost of extracting it.
Current estimates say that the Afek company will be asked to return to the planning and construction committees to receive additional permits to conduct more advanced exploration that will allow it to determine the results of the drilling. At this stage, however, it seems that the chances of finding oil have risen.
The Green Course environmental group and the Forum to Stop Oil Drilling issued a statement regarding Afek’s latest discovery, saying, “The figures published in the article about liquid oil being found mislead the public. In fact, there is nothing new and the situation hasn’t changed from a month ago, when Afek announced to the Israel Stock Exchange that it had found hydrocarbons at the drilling site.”
According to the green activists, “The hydrocarbons do not necessarily show that there is crude oil — they can indicate the presence of gas or oil shale. The Afek company is under strict restraints, the main one being that it cannot product commercial quantities of oil as long as it does not have a permit from the northern district of the planning and construction committee.
“To acquire such a permit, Afek will have to submit orderly, detailed plans and undergo careful examination before it can even move on to the next stage of the exploration and conduct test production to get an idea of the practical capacity behind the declarations,” the groups said.
Meanwhile, Yitzhak Tshuva’s Delek Group reported on Wednesday a spike in its net profits, which stood at NIS 210 million ($54.3 million) for the first quarter of 2015. The results of the group’s gas and oil exploration alone were responsible for some NIS 70 million ($18 million) of its net profits.
Delek Group’s total revenue grew by 10% in Q1, reaching some NIS 5.5 billion ($1.4 billion).
View original Israel Hayom publication at: http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=25771