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Zion Oil & Gas Starts Drilling Onshore Israel

Dallas-based Zion Oil & Gas, Inc said on Monday that it had begun drilling a deep well onshore Israel, expecting to drill through at least four different geological strata with oil and gas potential.

Zion Oil & Gas has spud the Megiddo-Jezreel #1 in the Jezreel Valley in Israel, and, depending on results and subject to cash resources, it would drill multiple wells from the pad site, the company said.

“It has been a complicated and difficult multi-year journey to get to this point, but our entire team is very excited to see this project finally come to fruition. We anticipate drilling through at least four different geologic strata with oil and gas potential,” said Victor G. Carrillo, Zion’s chief executive officer.

Late last year, Zion Oil & Gas said that it had received the go-ahead from Israel’s Petroleum Commissioner Yossi Wurzburger to drill an oil well in Israel.

The company quoted a study by international consulting company Beicip-Franlab, which said that up to 6.6 billion barrels of oil—an in-place best estimate--remain to be found in Israel’s Levant Basin. Although Zion’s 99,000-acre license is onshore, it is entirely within the Levant Basin, the company said.

Israel’s most recent hydrocarbon projects have involved gas projects offshore. Earlier this year, the partners in the giant Leviathan natural gas field offshore Israel ratified the final investment decision for the first phase of development, which entails gross capital investment of US$3.75 billion.

Houston-based Noble Energy – which operates Leviathan with a 39.66-percent working interest – said in February that it had sanctioned the first phase of the project, targeting first gas sales for the end of 2019. The initial development of the Leviathan field, which contains 22 trillion cubic feet of gross recoverable natural gas resources, will include four subsea wells, each capable of flowing more than 300 million cubic feet per day of natural gas.

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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