Golan Heights Drilling Confirms Presence of Hydrocarbons in N. Israel

Reports coming out of Israel Thursday of a commercial oil discovery in the disputed Golan Heights region have turned out to be premature, but the company behind the drilling there – Afek Oil & Gas – has confirmed the presence of hydrocarbons now that it has completed two wells.

In a statement sent to Rigzone, a spokesperson for Genie Oil & Gas (Afek's parent company), pointed out that the company has not announced a discovery – as reported by local news agencies – but that the first two wells of a current 10-well exploration campaign in the Golan have confirmed the scientific model upon which the exploration is based.

"We are now waiting to start the well tests, in order to understand the characteristics and quality of the hydrocarbons in the target zone. If these well tests [are] successful, only then we will proceed to the next phase: a request filed to State of Israel, asking to approve this as a discovery," Genie's spokesperson stated.

Genie believes that a significant oil reservoir may exist in the Golan that could be large enough to meet the country's energy needs for several years.

The Golan Heights have been occupied and administered by Israel since the Six Day War in 1967.

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