An everlasting hope of finding significant amounts of oil in Israel may have been realized with the announcement Thursday that “significant quantities” of oil were found in a well in the area of Rosh HaAyin, a city located east of Tel Aviv on the western edge of Samaria.
The Givat Olam (Hebrew for “Hill of the World”) Exploration Limited Partnership informed the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange of the discovery, but added, “At this stage it is not possible to estimate the significance of these findings." The company’s stock more than doubled on the stock market, according to Globes.
The firm said the oil was found late Wednesday night and that “more than 60 percent gas was measured in the drill mud.” The commercial potential of the oil field will not be known until tests and calculations on production and processing can be completed.
The “Meged” well in the Rosh HaAyin area is one of the few that have been drilled outside of the Negev and Dead Sea area. Several studies by independent consultants have confirmed the potential for oil in the area, and previous drillings have encouraged the prospects of discovering enough oil and gas for commercial production.
Earlier this year, a huge gas field was discovered off the Mediterranean Coast. The gas is expected to be on line in three years and is anticipated to help Israel become self-sufficient in gas. It also is providing hundreds of high-paying jobs for developing the field and bringing the gas from the sea, off Hadera and Haifa, to the coastline.
If the Meged well proves commercially viable, it will further Israel’s longtime hope of being energy independent and is likely to strengthen the shekel against world currencies.