There's gold in them thar hills – there seems to be black gold, that is, in the hills near the central Israeli town of Rosh Ha'ayin. For nearly two decades, an Israeli group called Givot Olam has been searching the area for oil, and in 2004, finally found commercially recoverable amounts of gas and oil. Since then, the company has further explored the Meged oil field – and on Monday, the company presented at a press conference the first independent geological assessment of the field, with the report claiming that there is anywhere between $200 million and nearly $900 million in oil buried in the field. And that, says Givot Olam chief geologist Tuvia Luskin, is “a gift from Hashem.”
The estimate is the result of two reports by international geology firms Baker-Hughes and Greensand, discussing the amount of oil that they claim is definitely in the ground at the Meged field –the proven reserves (P1), and the potential reserves (P2). And according to the reports, former National Security Advisor Giora Eiland – who is Givot Olam's strategic advisor – there are between 2.2 million and 56 million barrels of oil in the field.
Eiland spoke at a press conference given by the company Monday and introduced the reports from the two international firms. The lower estimate figure, according to the reports, are P1 reserves which could theoretically be extracted within months, while the latter number includes the firms' professional estimates as to the Meged field's full potential. Of that higher amount, there is at least a 50% chance to produce some 10 million barrels as well. The proven reserves are mostly in the Meged 5 oil well, while the P2 reserves of 10 million barrels are in several new wells that will have their drilling completed by 2012, Eiland said.
“These are conservative estimates,” Eiland said at the press conference. “The two firms are conservative in their outlook, as we are.” However, he added, the excitement over the Meged find was genuine. “The stock market and the media were all excited over news of possible finds of oil off Israel's coast, but here we have the first proven major reserves of oil in Israel,” he said.
Luskin told Israel National News that the find was “a milestone for the company, and for the whole country. This is the first time that internationally recognized firms have given an estimate for the amount of oil in the Meged field, or for any field in Israel. The figures they provided represent P1 and P2 reserves, which is very exciting – no other oil project in Israel has ever received this recognition. We started exploring in 1992, and after many ups and downs, we are happy to have arrived at this day. It is by the grace of G-d that we have succeeded,” he said. “This is a blessed event.”