Israeli group to start drilling for Dead Sea oil

Thursday, September 10, 2009 |  Israel Today Staff

An Israeli consortium that includes a group largely responsible for the recent discovery of natural gas deposits off the country's Mediterranean coast plans to begin exploratory drilling for oil at the Dead Sea next month.

The Delek Group headed by Yitzhak Tshuva previously headed the consortium that found billions of dollars worth of natural gas just 50 miles off the coast of the northern Israel city of Haifa. Tshuva is convinced that other sources of energy exist in the country, including oil deposits worth at least half a billion dollars under and around the Dead Sea.

Following his consortium's natural gas find earlier this year, Tshuva said he believed Israel would very soon become energy independent, and even start exporting natural gas, leading to a major economic revolution in the country.

But Tshuva won't be alone in his search for oil in Israel. Texas-based, Christian-run Zion Oil & Gas has been searching for oil in Israel since 2000. Founder John Brown says the Bible makes it clear Israel will be energy independent in the last days. The company's two exploratory drillings have so far given inconclusive results, but have sparked enough optimism for Zion Oil & Gas to continue its operations.

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