The holders of the Hatrurim land license for oil, located near the Dead Sea, reported on Sunday to the Stock Exchange that according to a resource report, the area contains an oil reserve worth approximately 1.2 billion shekels ($319 million). Israel Opportunity – Oil and Gas Exploration Ltd, one of the partners holding the license, went up by 35 percent.
According to the report, completed by an external appraiser, Dunmore Consulting, the reserve contains anywhere from 7 million to 11 million barrels of oil. The amounts in the report were classified as “contingent resources, ” a high classification that indicates 100 percent geological certainty that oil is to be found. This is in light of the fact that oil has already been procured from the reserve, in the Halamish section.
The Hatrurim land license covers an area of some 94 sq. km in the Dead Sea area. In 1995, another group drilled approximately 2 km deep in the area and struck oil. However, it was decided then not to develop the reserve because of the low prices of oil at that time.
Last October, the petroleum commissioner of the Ministry of National Infrastructures authorized the Israel Opportunity partnership’s request to receive 25% of the Hatrurim license. The application was filed jointly with Zerah Oil and Gas (28.75%), Gulliver Energy (28.75%), Cyprus Opportunity, registered in the Cypriot Stock Exchange (5%), Ashtrom Group (10%), and a company controlled by Dr. Eliahu Rosenberg, the founder of Avner Oil and Gas LP, which will hold 2.5% of the license.
On receipt of the license, the partnership announced that it intended to drill again at Halamish, performing directional drilling to the predicted center of the reserve. The drilling plan, which was made at Rosenberg’s initiative, is based on a previous survey from the drill’s hole.
According to the drilling plan attached to the license, the companies holding it were required to publish a report on prospective resources by May 1, 2016.