A nationally-held Israeli exploration company announced Wednesday that it had discovered oil near the Dead Sea.
Speaking on Israel’s Channel 10 News, Dr. Eli Tenenbaum of Genco said that after drilling to a depth of 1.2 miles, “we noticed that the pressure in the area was very high and when we opened the tap, oil started flowing freely for several minutes.”
Dr. Tenenbaum said the reserve could contain as much as six million barrels of oil, giving it an estimated commercial value of $300 million.
“We hope it was the first of many [such discoveries],” he added.
Genco started its work 10 years ago, but was forced to stop due to the high costs of its operations. But with oil prices soaring, the government recently gave the company the go ahead to resume exploratory drilling.
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer told The Jerusalem Post that the government is now ready to back any company that wants to try to find oil inside the borders of Israel.
Oil Found Near Dead Sea
Dead Sea from west, Sept. 27, 2006
UPDATE (10/11): The Jerusalem Post has more details, including a major new investor.