Investors are screaming their heads off at Shemen Oil Co. and its CEO, former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, after the company announced Monday that its Yam 3 oil well, off the Ashdod coast, is dry, despite indications a month ago it would reap a bonanza.
A final report will not be known until the equipment is taken out of the bore hole, leaving a “small chance that there was a breakdown in the production tests in the upper sections of the borehole,” Shemen stated.
The company said in September that there were signs of high quality oil in the well, into which was poured $175 million of investors’ money.
The company’s stock plunged 90 percent on Monday, prompting several investors to demand a Tel Aviv Stock Exchange investigation into the possibility that the announcement in September was made in order to allow insiders to sell their holdings at a profit, at the expense of an unknowing public.
In any case, Ashkenazi is not a big loser. He received salary of more than $1.5 million the past two years as Shemen CEO, not including high-class travel and four-star hotels, all at the expense of the company.