Huge oil reservoir discovered near the Dead Sea

The Hatrurim oil and gas exploration license in the Dead Sea area contains an oil reservoir worth NIS 1.2 billion, according to a resources report published by the companies holding the license this morning.

The report from Dunmore Consulting states that the best estimate is that the reservoir contains 7 million barrels of oil, while the high estimate is 11 million barrels. The estimates are given with 100% geological certainty of oil being found, since oil has already been produced from the reservoir, in the Halamish drilling.

The Hatrurim license is spread over 94 square kilometers in the Dead Sea area. In 1995, Delek Group Ltd. carried out an initial drilling in the license, to a depth of two kilometers, and found oil. This was the last drilling by Delek Group and Avner Oil and Gas LP on land, before their offshore gas discoveries. It was decided at the time not to produce oil from the reservoir because of the low oil price then prevailing.

Last October, the Petroleum Commissioner in the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources approved the application from the Israel Opportunity Energy Resources LP gas and oil exploration partnership to receive 25% of the Hatrurim license. The application was submitted together with Zerah Oil And Gas Explorations LP (28.75%), Gulliver Energy Ltd. (28.75%), Cyprus Opportunity (5%), Ashtrom Properties Ltd. (10%), and a company controlled by geologist Dr. Eliyahu Rosenberg, founder of the Avner partnership, who will hold 2.5% of the license. This is the first time that a company listed in Cyprus has entered oil and gas exploration activity in Israel.

On receipt of the license, the partners announced that they would drill again at Halamish, according to plan devised by Dr. Rosenberg, and using advanced technologies. Under the work plan attached to the license, the license holders had to submit a prospective resources report by May 1, 2016, which they have now done. The drilling budget is $5 million altogether.

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