Shalom Life | September 02, 2014

Could Israel Become a World Leader in Oil Production?

With the second largest oil shale deposits in the world, it's very possible.

By: David Shear

Published: March 28th, 2011 in Business » World

Could Israel Become a World Leader in Oil Production?

The punch line to a joke that’s been told by generation of Jews soon will need to be changed.

“Let me tell you something that we Israelis have against Moses. He took us 40 years through the desert in order to bring us to the one spot in the Middle East that has no oil!”

This joke was made famous by Golda Meir, the former Prime Minister of Israel, and for many years held a lot of truth. The lack of oil and natural gas is seen as one of the main reasons Israel has become one of the world’s leaders in technology, green energy and health science.

But with the recent findings of the Tamar and Leviathan natural gas reserves off its waters, Israel has a future as an energy independent country. By why stop there? Some believe that Israel could become one of the world’s leading oil producers.

Such is the plan of Harold Vinegar and his colleagues. Dr. Vinegar, the former chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell, and current chief scientist at Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI), believes that with Israel’s oil shale deposits, this could be reality.

IEI is working on an ambitious project to extract oil and natural gas from oil shale from a 238 sq km area off the Shfela Basin, south-west of Jerusalem.

As the price of conventional sources of petroleum has risen, oil shale has gained attention as an energy source, and as a way for some areas to secure independence from external suppliers of energy. However, oil shale mining does raise a number of environmental concerns due to it being very water intensive, and a high producer of greenhouse gas emissions. China has a well established oil shale industry and Brazil, Germany and Russia also utilize oil shale.

IEI claims that its technique will be cleaner than those currently being used because the oil will be separated from the shale rock up to 300 meters beneath the ground, therefore greatly minimizing the amount of water being consumed.

According to Dr. Vinegar, Israel has the second-biggest oil shale deposits in the world, outside the United States. “We estimate that there are the equivalent of 250 billion barrels of oil there. To put that in context, there are proven reserves of 260 billion barrels of oil in Saudi Arabia.” he told The Times.

Once operational, IEI estimates that the cost of production of shale oil would be between $34-40 per barrel. This would make it comparable to the current price of $30-40 per barrel for deepwater oilfield and cheaper than Canadian sand oil and crude oil extracted from the Arctic.

The expectations of Tamar and Leviathan have already given Israel a very positive outlook. Should IEI’s claims turn to reality, Israel would become one of the wealthiest countries in the world.

H&M Selling Hillel-Inspired Shirts H&M Selling Hillel-Inspired Shirts TrendingStartup Club: Yevvo Startup Club: Yevvo TrendingJewish Hall Of Fame: Mikhail Prokhorov Jewish Hall Of Fame: Mikhail Prokhorov Trending
 

Infamous Canadian Nazi Running for Office

September 02, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
Infamous Canadian Nazi Running for Office

72-year-old white supremacist John Beattie, who founded the Canadian Nazi party decades ago, is running for deputee reeve in the small cottage-country town of Minden Hills

Read More

Israeli Designer Showcased in New Hunger Games Film

September 02, 2014 | By Ynet News
Israeli Designer Showcased in New Hunger Games Film

One of the new characters to be introduced in Mockingjay will be wearing an Alon Livne dress

Read More

H&M Selling Hillel-Inspired Shirts

September 02, 2014 | By Daniel Koren
H&M Selling Hillel-Inspired Shirts

The company's new clothing line borrows a thousands-year-old quote from Hillel the Elder: "If Not Now, When?"

Read More

Lea Michele to Join Season 4 of ‘American Horror Story’?

September 01, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lea Michele to Join Season 4 of ‘American Horror Story’?

The 'Glee' actress is rumored to join 'American Horror Story: Freak Show'.

Read More

Melissa Rivers is “Keeping Fingers Crossed” For Joan’s Recovery

September 01, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Melissa Rivers is “Keeping Fingers Crossed” For Joan’s Recovery

The 81-year-old comedian has been in a medically induced coma since Friday.

Read More

Lena Dunham: Leaking Nude Photos is a Sex Offense

September 01, 2014 | By Ashley Baylen
Lena Dunham: Leaking Nude Photos is a Sex Offense

The 'Girls' creator urges her fans not to look at the recently leaked nude photos of fellow celebrities.

Read More

Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ A Secret Weapon For NBA Stars

September 01, 2014 | By Robert Gluck
Jewish ‘Hoops Whisperer’ A Secret Weapon For NBA Stars

Idan Ravin's new book, "The Hoops Whisperer: On the Court and Inside the Head of Basketball's Best Players," details his rise from a Jewish upbringing to becoming a well-respected figure in NBA circles

Read More

Israeli Company Hopes to Find Real Treatment for ALS

September 01, 2014 | By Maya Yarowsky and Anouk Lorie, NoCamels
Israeli Company Hopes to Find Real Treatment for ALS

BrainStorm looks beyond the Ice Bucket Challenge to treat Lou Gehrig's Disease with their NurOwn treatment

Read More

More Headlines