Israel’s once hidden oil riches are now certain to be so large its treasures could make it therichest oil country in the world. And, its neighbors are not only noticing, they’re boiling mad.
It was just forty years ago when Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel once famously quipped, “Why did Moses lead us to the one place in the Middle East without oil?”
Well Prime Minister, Moses turned out to have a pretty good eye for what a promised land might look like.
But, in the last three years Israel has discovered one mega-discovery after another. First, it discovered 1.5 billion barrels of oil onshore at Rosh Ha'Ayin, located about 10 miles inland from the Tel Aviv coastline. It was a small but important find that sparked a flurry of exploration activity.
Then, a big one followed by another – both are noteworthy, and rare, and are the largest finds anywhere in the last decade. US Geological Survey (USGS) estimates, the entire Leviathan Basin holds 1.7 billion barrels of recoverable oil and 700 billion cubic meters of recoverable gas.
Expert surveys for the Tamar field conducted by the U.S. petroleum consultants Netherland, Sewell & Associates indicate that the field contains proven reserves of 217 billion cubic meters of gas.
And then another find. It turns out that Israel has the second-biggest oil shale deposits in the world, outside the US: