Israel has always complained that it is surrounded by oil-rich countries but it did not have even a dot within its borders. With the announcement on Wednesday that it has rich-oil reserves in Golan Heights, it can now smile.
Afek Oil and Gas, a U.S subsidiary company in Israel, confirmed the discovery in an interview with Channel 2 TV. However, they declined to give details on the find, stating that until oil is extracted, they are not sure of the quality and quantity of the oil.
“The oil that has been discovered is 350 meters thick. Thickness and porosity are very important as oil is drilling is concerned,” Yuval Bartov, chief geologist of the company, explained. “Globally, average of oil strata is 20-30 meters thick, thus, this strata is ten times as big as average oil strata. Therefore, we are talking about substantial quantity. The most important thing is to know whether a rock has oil or not and we now know it has.”
According to experts, extracting significant amount of oil from the reserves is likely to take time. Some have suggested that though the discovery could be significant, the announcement has something to do with Exploration Company’s share price as the actual conviction that oil will be available at the sight.
The other important consideration in the oil feed development is its proximity to fighting taking place in neighboring Syria. ISIS had been fighting Syria forces of President Assad for a long period of time. This is what prompted Russia’s recent entry into the country to reduce conflict.
A license to drill in the region was issued in April 2013. The license that covered nearly 98,000 acres did not come easily. There were series of court battles by organizations such as Greenpeace and the Society for Protection of Nature in Israel. All these put site development on hold until a ruling on December 2014 have the green light for oil drilling.