YNet News (Link) - Golan Hazani (September 19, 2006)
Oil spurted Monday at a depth of about 1,800 meters during drilling near the Dead Sea. The drilling was planned only to reach 2,000 meters. Drilling partners, Ginko Oil Exploration and Lapidot (20 percent) are expected to carry out a series of tests in the coming days in order to estimate the quantity of oil found in the drilling, and its value.
It should be noted that crude oil, about 120,000 barrels, has already been extracted from this same drilling site in 1995. Drilling was renewed following the rise in oil prices, and as a first stage in preparation for drilling in Ginko's licensed drilling areas in the Dead Sea, particularly in the area of Zerach.
Ginko declined responding to reports of its renewed oil findings at the site, but notified that the essence of the tests that will be performed in the coming days revolve around checking the static pressure in the oil strata, and its rate of change.
Renewal of drilling in areas from which crude oil was extracted in the past has become a new world trend in the face of high price of oil, which increases profitability of such oil extraction. Ginko is prepared for extraction at this particular drilling site and has already acquired pipelines and containers for transporting the extracted fuel.
The drilling site in which oil was discovered lies within the Zerach licensed zone, which is north of the Dead Sea and sits on 400 square kilometers of land. In the past, gas fields were found in a nearby licensed zone.
From the collective efforts near the gas and oil fields as well as new seismic findings recently published, it emerges that there is a closed structure in the area that ensures an oil reserve of about 6.5 million barrels of equal or higher value than the oil previously found.
According to geologist Gidon Gab-Am, there is an estimated two strata of oil, one of which contains about 5.5 million barrels of oil, and the other about one million barrels. As per today's crude oil prices, this quantity is worth between USD 300-350 million.
Ginko Oil Exploration is owned by accountant Yair Karni, Nissan Khakshouri, Rami Karmin and Elgadcom Group (owned by the Shushan and Salouk brothers), who recently acquired 8 percent of the company for and investment of USD 1.2 million. †