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October 20, 2014 / 26 Tishri, 5775
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘oil’

Jerusalem Says ‘No’ to Oil Shale Pilot – Is There A Future Elsewhere in Israel?

Sunday, September 7th, 2014

Israeli society is debating whether to allow industrialists to dip into its Middle Eastern treasure chest for the oil shale that lies beneath the holy land, while the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) waits in the wings for the outcome.

Oil shale is most commonly defined as sedimentary rock containing organic matter rich in hydrogen, known as Kerogen. When the rock is heated, the organic matter decomposes and releases petroleum-like liquids. In other words, black gold.

Industrialists and business investors say the move would bring energy independence to the Jewish State, which made its debut last week as an energy exporter with a deal to send natural gas to Jordan.

Environmentalists insist it would create an ecological disaster from which the nation’s delicate nature reserves might never recover.

A pilot project would determine whether the benefit outweighs the risk, or vice versa.

But last week, a committee voted in Jerusalem to block a pilot project in south-central Israel to check it out. An exploration that began in 2011 estimated that approximately 40 billion barrels of oil are sitting below the surface of the Ela Valley at a depth of approximately 200 to 400 meters.

After having started an initial exploration several years ago — one that was frozen in 2011 — the Jerusalem-based Israel Energy Initiatives firm wanted to move to a pilot project to determine its viability. The plan involved extracting a total of 500 barrels of oil — about two barrels per day — to see if the site was commercially viable.

The process that would be used involves a new technology never before used anywhere else in the world. It’s not “fracking,” which involves drilling for liquid oil.

This involves converting the very rock itself into oil – a form of hydrocarbons — known as “oil shale.” There is a massive amount of it in Israel, apparently, if one can figure out how to extract it and it seems that IEI chief scientist Harold Vinegar has managed to do it. The company’s former Minister of National Infrastructure and now IEI CEO, Effie Eitam, is also very involved.

In order to bring up oil shale, one drills heating wells into the rock, gradually heating it to 300 degrees centigrade over a period of nine months, which then separates and lifts the oil and leaves the rock below.

IEI said the process would not damage the ecosystem in the 238-square kilometer Shfela basin area.

About 200 meters of rock separates the layer of shale rock from the aquifer in the region, according to IEI, which insists drilling will not penetrate this layer. As a result, the company says, the aquifer will not be harmed. Israel’s Water Authority hydrologists agreed.

But environmentalists disagree.

Adam Teva V’Din – the Israel Union for Environmental Defense — argued in a 2010 lawsuit that the company’s plans did not have enough environmental protections in place. Regulations tightened in 2012 by the National Infrastructure, Energy and Water Ministry still did not cover the company’s plans – so Adam Teva V’Din filed another lawsuit.

Israel’s Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel also threw its support to the opposition, adding that the company’s plans seemed to be “shrouded in secrecy.”

Last week, the Jerusalem District Committee for Planning and Building voted 10-1 to reject the Jerusalem-based Israel Energy Initiatives’ project to drill for oil shale in the Shfela basin. There were two abstentions in the 10-hour committee meeting vote, which was a continuation of August’s unresolved nine-hour discussion.

Had the exploration gone forward, IEI CEO Relik Shafir told The Jerusalem Post in an interview this summer, the project had the potential to bring Israel “energy independence and a commercial value … to the tune of at least NIS 10 billion a year.”

Kurdish Oil Tanker Docks in Israel

Saturday, June 21st, 2014

A Iraqi-Kurdish crude oil tanker docked in Israel on Saturday night.

On Friday, JewishPress.com reported that the tanker, after not finding a buyer for its oil, due to threats from Iraq, closed a deal with Israel and would be docking in Israel. The oil is expected to be offloaded on Sunday.

Iraqi parliamentarian Abad el-Mahdi al-Hafaji said in response to the report, “The export of oil from Kurdistan to Israel is treason to Iraq, the Arab nation, and to the Palestinian cause.”

May this be the beginning of a beautiful relationship.

Tshuva To Export 20% of “Tamar” Gas Field to Egypt

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014

Yitzchak Tshuva plans to sell 20% of the gas drilled from the “Tamar” gas field to Egpyt, according to a report in Calcalist.

Letters of understandings were signed, and official contracts are expected to be signed in six months.

This is the first export agreement with Egypt, and follows the export agreement signed a few months ago with Jordan.

Egypt is to receive 4.5 BCM (billion cubic meters) each year for 15 years. The deal is valued at 1.1 to 1.3 billion dollars a year for a total of around $20 billion dollars.

The “Tamar” gas field holds an estimated 320 BCM and is owned by Noble Energy (36%), Delek and Avner Drilling (31.25%), Isramco (28.7%) and Dor Gas (4%).

Egypt Receives $700 Million in Oil Aid – Monthly

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Egypt receives an estimated $700 million of oil every month from Arab countries, according to a report in the Egyptian Independent.

Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail said that Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait have been supplying Egypt with the needed oil and financing since Morsi was deposed in July, to the tune of $12 billion dollars.

Off-Shore Oil Field May Contain 3 Billion Barrels of Oil

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

Noble Energy now estimates that that its Leviathan oil field discovery in Israeli and Cypriot waters may contain up to 3 billion barrels of oil, double the previous estimate that did not include Block 12 off of Cyprus.

The same field also ready has been determined by Noble and its partner Delek to contain 19 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and another 4 trillion at Block 12. At today’s prices, the value of the potential oil field is nearly $3 billion.

Noble told analysts that drilling will not begin before the end of next year.

Israel began using its own off-shore natural gas for the first time earlier this year and have brought Israel on the way to energy self-sufficiency as well as an exporter of energy.

Israelis Invent Revolutionary Alternative Fuel

Sunday, November 17th, 2013

Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) researchers have invented a process to make a green feed alternative for crude oil out of two of the most common substances on Earth – water and carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas detrimental to the environment.

Profs. Moti Herskowitz and Miron Landau, along with Dr. Roxana Vidruk and the team at BGU’s Blechner Center of Industrial Catalysis and Process Development have developed a green feed that can be converted using well-established technologies into liquid fuel and delivered using existing infrastructure to gas stations. As opposed to other alternative fuel sources, such as electric cars, which require additional infrastructure, this green feed would merely replace oil as the input for refineries.

The project is partially supported by I-SAEF (Israel Strategic Alternative Energy Foundation).

Herskowitz unveiled the revolutionary breakthrough at the Bloomberg Fuel Choices Summit in Tel Aviv last week.

“It is an extraordinary challenge to convert carbon dioxide and hydrogen to green feed,” says Herskowitz. “The technology is based on novel specially tailored catalysts and catalytic processes. Well-established, commercially available technology can be directly applied to the process developed at BGU. It is envisaged that the short-term implementation of the process will combine synthetic gas produced from various renewable and alternative sources with carbon dioxide and hydrogen.”

Prof. Herskowitz, who is the Israel Cohen Chair in Chemical Engineering and the VP & Dean at BGU, indicated that the new process should become a reality in the near future. “Since there are no foreseen technological barriers, the new process should become a reality within five to ten years,” he says.

Regarding other alternative fuels, Herskowitz maintains that his invention represents a game-changer.

“The liquids that have been used over the past decade are ethanol (alcohol), biodiesel and/or blends of these fuels with conventional fuels, as will continue to be done in the foreseeable future. These alternatives are, however, far from ideal, and there is a pressing need for a game-changing approach to produce alternative drop-in liquid transportation fuels by sustainable, technologically viable and environmentally acceptable processes from abundant, low-cost, renewable materials.”

Researchers at the Blechner Center have also developed a novel process for converting vegetable and algae oils to advanced green diesel and jet fuels.

Former Chief of Staff’s Oil Well a Colossal Flop

Monday, October 14th, 2013

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.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/former-chief-of-staffs-oil-well-a-colossal-flop/2013/10/14/

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