When Will Drilling Start?
WHAT HAS ZION BEEN DOING AND WHEN WILL DRILLING START?
First, let’s explain what we have already accomplished:
1. Conducted regional reconnaissance work (G&G – geology & geophysics) and identified areas of interest;
2. Narrowed down potential areas of interest;
3. Developed leads in the preferred exploration area and defined the area for which to apply for an exploration license;
4. Applied to Israeli government for exploration license (including preliminary presentation to Energy Ministry);
5. Received grant of Megiddo-Jezreel License (~ 99,000 acres) in December 2013;
6. Conducted detailed geological and geophysical study of license area;
7. Modified Megiddo-Jezreel License by subtracting some non-prospective areas and adding prospective area from Zion’s former Jordan Valley License;
8. Reprocessed older seismic data and proposed and acquired new seismic data;
9. Mapped the prospect area in detail;
10. Wrote an “Interpretation Report” and submitted to the Energy Ministry;
11. Wrote a detailed Prospect Report and submitted to the Energy Ministry;
12. Prepared, presented, and obtained a required Israeli Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) — including meetings with local and regional authorities;
The EIA included:
- Engagement of outside experts to prepare a 200+ page report examining the potential impact drilling could have on air pollution, sound pollution, wildlife, hydrology, agricultural operations, antiquities, military operations, etc.
- Following a 90-day public comment period, obtaining approval from numerous layers of authority (Regional Council, Israeli Northern District, Environmental Ministry, etc.)
13. Forrest Garb & Associates, an international petroleum engineering and geoscience consulting firm, prepared its Resource Assessment Report of Gross Prospective Resources of Zion’s prospect for the proposed drilling of the Megiddo-Jezreel #1 well. Required by our License, this independent analysis affirms Zion’s internal interpretation of four separate geological objectives with substantial reserves of original oil in place if a discovery is made.
14. Key long lead-time items such as tubular goods, wellhead, liner hangers and cementing accessories, as well as drill bits, have been received and are in our storage yard, ready to deploy;
15. Completed a land surface use agreement with Sde Eliyahu, the kibbutz on whose land we plan to drill, whereby, among other things, the kibbutz agrees that they will not object to oil exploration within the specific drill pad location;
- Note: Zion has been in negotiations with Sde Eliyahu representatives, their attorneys and insurance consultants since last Fall, and we have now agreed to the terms of the final agreement which is set to be signed on Monday (April 25).
16. Currently negotiating a drilling contract with drilling contractor;
- Note: Zion began the process last Spring and signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), but the contractor with whom we were negotiating underwent a lengthy corporate reorganization which has now been completed, and negotiations have resumed.
17. Currently seeking quotes on control of well (COW) insurance;
In addition to raising additional funding with which to fully fund our first well, items remaining to be completed:
18. Once we have secured a drilling contract, we should be able to quickly obtain a drilling permit from the Energy Ministry;
19. Begin construction of the drillsite (including access road) – engineering design plans have already been completed;
20. Mobilize the drill rig to Israel; and
21. Spud and drill the well this summer.
(And, these last three steps are very extensive. Watch a video about that process HERE.)
As you can see, we’ve come a long way! God has been faithful and our team has done a great job.
Drilling for oil in Israel is a bureaucratic, complicated, expensive, and time-consuming process. If our mission were to simply find oil & gas, it is certainly much easier and simpler here in Texas! Click HERE to read more about the challenges of energy exploration in Israel.