Oil Possibilities in Israel Reported by American Expert; Explorations Considered

The Israel Government is considering legal aspects of leasing concessions for oil explorations following a report by Max W. Ball, a leading American oil consultant, that possibilities of finding oil in Israel are good enough to warrant exploration.

Mr. Ball surveyed Israel and reported each of the “geologic provinces has oil possibilities” and that the most promising are the Negev, the foothill belt of Judas the coastal plain, and the Dead Sea-Wadi Araba rift valley.”

The U.S. Government is watching Israel’s oil possibilities with great interest because of the recent seizure of British oil properties by the people of Iran and sing of trouble in other Arab states. Ways of meeting the oil shortage which might be caused by the loss of Iranian or Arab oil was discussed at an emergency meeting here recently.

It was estimated by Mr. Ball that further exploration will cost a minimum of $10,000,000 and that it will take about 18 months to determine further geologic and geophysical facts. Before oil may be actually pumped, if it is found, it may be any where from three to five years, Mr. Ball estimated. He said that as in the U.S., is probable that three or four wells might be drilled in Israel and found dry before oil is actually struck.

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