Zion Podcast: Episode 14 – Zion Perspective #1
Published on: October 30, 2020 | Zion Perspective #1 – Overview of Zion’s progress to where we are today.
Episode 14 Transcript:
Perhaps you’ve only been able to look into Zion Oil & Gas for the first time in a long while. Maybe you’ve just been introduced to Zion Oil & Gas for the first time. I’m starting a new series within this podcast called “Zion Perspective.” This occasional perspective will help you understand Zion’s progress as a company and where we are in fulfilling the company’s vision to find and produce oil and gas onshore in Israel.
Let’s get to it:
On November 29, 2018, Zion released the results of the Megiddo-Jezreel #1 well (also called the MJ#1 well). In that press release, the company stated that while the MJ#1 well was non-commercial, we had crucial questions that needed answering. These questions were important and meant that it would be wise to continue exploration in the area.
We had encountered hydrocarbons during the drilling of the well in 2018. There were indications that essential questions still needed to be answered and that there may still be producible oil and/or gas in the area. This potential of hydrocarbons made it clear that a focused 3D seismic shoot of the area was necessary.
Before this moment, we had shot 2D seismic. Why 2D and not 3D up until this point? This was explained intricately by the President of Agile Seismic, Goran Stankovic, in a podcast. You may listen to this in Episode 10 around the 28m 35s mark. In short, it would be considered a waste by anyone in the industry to have spent the money on 3D seismic before taking the steps of shooting 2D and then drilling the exploratory well beginning in 2017.
Now, by January 2019, Zion made the decision to move forward with the scouting and survey design for the 3D seismic. Moving forward with 3D seismic was another step of faith during a “time of testing” for the company. But we saw God work during this time. With our license extended through 2020, Investors expressed their desire to move forward with faith through more people investing in Zion through the Direct Stock Purchase Program.
In June 2019, Zion also appointed a new Chief Operations Officer, Rob Dunn, who later took over as CEO. Rob’s expertise and knowledge in the industry for this period of the company was an answer to prayer. We were very quickly able to move through the planning to the completion of the data acquisition of the 3D survey in Israel by October.
Zion saw that the speed of which the 3D acquisition was a miracle. Zion had now shot the only commercial and largest onshore 3D seismic in Israel’s history.
In the following months, Zion became clear that purchasing our own rig would make sense for the upcoming drilling project known as Megiddo-Jezreel #2 (or MJ02). And, we formed two subsidiaries: Zion Drilling and Zion Drilling Services.
2018 and 2019 were also challenging due to two frivolous lawsuits filed against Zion. These lawsuits were mostly spawned by a Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) inquiry into Zion that we see was caused by malicious, false online and social media posts in an attempt to devalue our stock. One, the derivative lawsuit was dismissed by the end of 2019. The other was finally dismissed by April 2020. There is now no litigation pending against Zion.
The SEC informed Zion on June 21, 2018, of a non-public, fact-finding inquiry with a subpoena for the production of documents. This inquiry is still open, but the SEC has asserted no accusation of wrongdoing, nor have they expressed any negative opinion of any person within Zion. Zion continues to cooperate with and work with the SEC fully.
Now, let’s get back to the rig. In February 2020, the subsidiaries were formed, and a Letter of Intent to buy a rig made. By March 2020, the rig was purchased, and Zion’s hope was to move the rig to Israel quickly. Then, as the entire world, Zion faced the difficulties of the global pandemic caused by Covid-19.
Since the pandemic outbreak, Zion has done all that we were able to prepare everything to drill the Megiddo-Jezreel #2 well. Equipment and services were lined up. The site was prepared. We just needed to coordinate the rig crew’s visas to receive the rig once we were allowed to import the rig.
Meanwhile, another challenge was coming to a head: our stock being listed on the Nasdaq market for trading. Nasdaq, and electronic trading market, requires the stock price to be above $1.00. Well, Zion received multiple extensions that ran out by the end of last month. When this became clear, we moved to the OTCQX market for trading. So far, this has been a smooth move for Zion and most of our shareholders.
While we believe that if the global pandemic had not happened, we would likely have been drilling and potentially completed the Megiddo-Jezreel #2 well with our stock price over $1.00, this did not happen. We trust that God has different plans for this time for Zion. Shareholders are still able to trade Zion’s stock with the ticker “ZNOG” through most brokers. Some discount brokers that are apps or online-only some will not trade Zion. But, moving shares is reasonably straightforward. And, shareholders can always invest directly using our website and thankful that many continue to do so.
Despite all the challenges and setbacks from late 2018 to today, we see incredible progress: the largest and only 3D seismic shoot onshore Israel. A rig purchased. Two subsidiaries were formed. Zion shareholders are backing the company’s vision enthusiastically to this day. And, now, this last week, we were able to announce that Zion’s rig is set to depart for Israel.
We are excited about the upcoming months and see God opening up miraculous ways for us to go forward. And we plan to do precisely that to drill the Megiddo-Jezreel #2 well and hopefully see that this area has commercial hydrocarbon potential for Israel’s energy independence.
We thank you for your support, and we thank you for your prayers.