Zion Oil & Gas has been notified by the Israeli Petroleum Commissioner's office that the Company has been awarded a preliminary petroleum exploration permit with priority rights on approximately 165,000 acres onshore Israel. The permit area is adjacent to and to the east of Zion's Asher-Menashe license area and is in the area that was formerly within Issachar’s and Zebulun's ancient biblical tribal areas, consequently Zion has named the area the 'Issachar-Zebulun Permit Area.'
The Issachar-Zebulun Permit extends Zion's petroleum rights from the Mediterranean at Caesarea across the Carmel Mountains to Megiddo and through to the Jordan River immediately south of the Sea of Galilee. It increases Zion's total petroleum exploration rights area to approximately 327,000 acres.
Zion has also been notified by the Israeli Petroleum Commissioner's office that its transfer of a three percent (3%) overriding royalty interest from each of the Company's Joseph and Asher-Menashe oil and gas licenses in Israel (six percent (6%) overriding interest in aggregate) to the (Swiss) Abraham Foundation and the (Israeli) Bnei Joseph Amuta (Foundation), has been approved by Israel's Petroleum Commissioner. Currently Zion does not generate any revenues.
Lastly, the Israeli Petroleum Commissioner has granted Zion's request for a six month extension on its drilling obligation on the Asher-Menashe license from July 1, 2009 to January 1, 2010 to allow Zion adequate time to finish drilling the Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2.
Zion's Chief Executive Officer, Richard Rinberg, said today, "We are very pleased to have been awarded a new permit, to have the transfer of the royalty interests to the two charitable foundations confirmed and, as requested, to have been granted a six month extension on our drilling commitment for the Asher-Menashe license. We continue to implement our exploration and drilling program and build on our progress to date. The drilling operations on our Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well are proceeding as planned and are ahead of schedule. Our current rights offering will soon end successfully, so presently our funding is in good shape."
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