Israel’s relationship with surrounding nations could change significantly because of a recent discovery in their nation.
Massive oil reserves have been found near their Syrian border.
“There is enormous excitement,” Yuval Bartov, chief geologist for Afek Oil and Gas, an Israeli subsidiary of Genie Energy, an American company, said Tuesday. “It’s a fantastic feeling. We came here thinking maybe yes or maybe no, and now things are really happening.”
The potential of the discovery is vast, Bartov said. The field could meet Israel’s domestic oil consumption needs for many years, eliminating any need to import oil from Arab neighbors. Israel uses about 270,000 barrels of oil per day.
“We are talking about a strata which is 350 meters thick and what is important is the thickness and the porosity,” Bartov said. “On average in the world, strata are 20-30 meters thick, so this is ten times as large as that, so we are talking about significant quantities. The important thing is to know the oil is in the rock and that’s what we now know.”
No timetable for actual drilling has been released.
The reserves were found in the Golan Heights, captured from Syria during the 1967 Six Day War and formally annexed by Israel in 1981. The region already contains vital underground water sources that provide Israel’s chief source of fresh water.
The location could pose a problem. Syria has never fully relinquished its claim to the region and the United Nations has urged Israel to return the land to Syria. At a time when Russian-backed forces are fighting rebels in Syria, the discovery of oil in a disputed region raises the potential for new conflict over ownership.
The region is already the subject of rocket attacks from beyond Israel’s borders.
h/t: Fox News