While the fates of Israel’s Tamar, Leviathan, and Tanin offshore natural gas reserves have yet to be decided, oil has been discovered in the Jewish state’s Golan Heights region, Channel 2 reported Tuesday.
According to the report, recent exploratory drilling on the Golan Heights has located a reserve of enough oil that it would supply Israel’s energy needs for many years to come.
The Ofek company, which conducted the drilling on the southern Golan Heights, claims that the reserve right now contains nearly 1 billion barrels of black gold.
Ofek chief geologist Dr. Yuvel Bartov told Channel 2, “We’re talking about a 350-meter (1,100-foot) thick layer, and the deciding factor is the porous thickness. Layers average 20 to 30 meters (70-100 feet) deep. Here, there’s 10 times what other locations contain, which means a significant amount. What is important to know is that the shale contains oil, and we know it does.”
The question now is how worthwhile producing oil from the reserve would be and how much it would cost to do so. Global oil prices are plummeting, and the high cost of drilling for and extracting the oil could make the venture non-cost effective. No word yet from official government sources.