For the past decade or more, Israel’s main export and marketability has been the field of high tech. Dubbed the “Start-up nation”, Israel has achieved vast success and created some of the most sophisticated pieces of technology, with social applications in every field of the high tech industry. The high tech industrial prowess of Israel and its marketability have been major bulwarks of the Israeli economy, even in the most troubling of markets, such as the 2008 worldwide recession.
However, as much as Israel has succeeded in the field of high-tech, another stabilizing factor, one that other countries’ economies in the region have enjoyed for many years, has been missing: that of fossil fuels.
The market for natural gas and oil has never been greater. Even with the advent of other sources of green energy, the world’s dependence upon oil and natural gas has been a major factor in world capitulation to the oil-rich Arab and Muslim countries in the Middle East and North East Africa. These countries, often home to extremist Muslim elements, have had a rising influence in world politics ever since the end of the Cold War. A significant portion of that influence has to do with the fact that they produce a large percentage of the world’s fuel.
Zion Oil and Gas has set out to turn the tables, by drilling for and finding substantial deposits of oil in Israel. The company hopes to release Israel from the stranglehold of foreign oil suppliers, thus giving Israel a free geopolitical hand to act as needed to protect the security of its citizens.
Andrew Summey, the Online Communications Manager of Zion Oil told Breaking Israel News that the company’s strategies revolve around helping Israel achieve a greater sense of geopolitical freedom.
Highlighting certain concepts discussed in Pulitzer Prize winner Daniel Yergin’s monumental work The Prize, Summey listed examples of how Israel’s foreign policy has been dictated by other oil-producing countries. Zion Oil believes that until Israel can gain oil independence, it will not be able to look after its own best interests in the international sphere due to the various restrictions placed upon it by oil-supplying nations such as the US and Norway. However, once Israel becomes energy independent, they will no longer need to acquiesce to the political desires of foreign powers.
It is for this reason that Zion Oil has set out to find producible oil in Israel. Currently, Zion Oil is preparing for their fourth digging project in Israel, which is set to begin in the fall of 2015 in their Megiddo-Jezreel valley site.
“The length [of time] that it takes to drill a well varies.We are hoping it will take a month or six weeks,” said Summey. By that time, the company hopes to know if they have found hydrocarbons or have actually struck a produceable amount of oil. “Finding hydrocarbons means that there is oil but it is not necessarily producible; to have a find one needs to be able to produce it and get enough to make money,” said Summey in layman’s terms.
Zion Oil, which is a faith-based company, has been working to find oil in Israel for more than 15 years, and they have so far had mild success. Passages in the Bible have given them clues pointing to the Megiddo-Jezreel location, and they have left it to geologists to find the right spot within the greater area to set up their rig.
“The spot we are drilling is right next to the old pipeline that went from Baghdad to Haifa, so if we find oil, Israel may be able to open up that old pipeline and take the oil right to Haifa, where it may be processed,” says Summey. This would greatly alleviate a number of other logistical complications that could crop up in the future.
Israel is ready to become energy independent. With the recent removal of a US guarantee to supply Israel with oil in times of conflict, and the discovery of the Tamar and Leviathan natural gas fields in the Mediterranean already reshaping Israel in the geopolitical sphere, Israel is ready for the next step. Zion Oil hopes that it will be the company to bring Israel to that next step in attaining its own geopolitical freedom.