An old oil well in the Dead Sea is now believed to contain reserves of 7 to 11 million barrels according to a report commissioned by the Israeli companies holding the drilling license.
The Hatrurim sector covers an area of about 94 square kilometers in the Dead Sea region, and the new report drawn up by Edinburgh-based Dunmore Consulting assesses the oil reserves ranging between 7 and 11 million barrels and valued at some $322 million.
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And since oil has been produced from this same reservoir before, assessors are looking at a 100 percent geological certainty.
The drilling license is held by an Israeli energy company, Israel Opportunity, with partners including Zerah Oil and Gas, Gulliver Energy, Ashtrom Group and Cyprus Opportunity--the first Cypriot company to ever enter the oil and gas exploration market in Israel.
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In 1995, drilling carried out in the Halamish sector, at a depth of two kilometers, found oil, but production was called off due to low oil prices. The new assessment of ample reserves, however, has the partners announcing a resumption of exploration.
Using advanced technologies and taking advantage of lower service costs, the explorers are budgeting $5 million here. A report on prospective resources attached to the license was due to be submitted on 1 May.
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Last October, the Israel Opportunity partnership’s request to receive 25 percent of the Hatrurim license was authorized by the petroleum commissioner of the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructures. The application was submitted jointly with Zerah Oil and Gas (28.75 percent), Gulliver Energy (28.75 percent), Cyprus Opportunity, registered in the Cypriot Stock Exchange (5 percent), Ashtrom Group (10 percent), and a company controlled by Dr. Eliahu Rosenberg, the founder of Avner Oil and Gas LP, which will hold 2.5 percent of the license.
By James Burgess of Oilprice.com
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