Seven Oil Companies Prepare to Drill in Israel, Agency Reports

Seven oil companies from the U.S., Canada, Panama and Israel are poised to commence drilling operation near the Dead Sea and in other sections of Israel, it was reported today by the Jewish Agency’s economic department here.

The seven companies are: The Husky Oil Company of Cody, Wyoming; The New Continental Oil Company, of Calgary, Canada; The Pan-Israel Oil Company, Inc., and Israel Oil Licenses, Inc., both registered in Panama; and the Lapidoth-Israel Petroleum Company, Ltd., the Jordan Exploration Company, Ltd., and Israel Oil Prospectors, Ltd., all registered in Israel.

The three latter companies hold joint licenses in the Dead Sea area and plan to start drilling immediately. Lapidoth, which will conduct operations for all three, has made a contract with Kerr-McGee Oil Industries, Inc., of Oklahoma City, to be Lapidoth’s exclusive oil-drilling contractor. A field camp is being set up near Sdorr., at the southern end of the Dead Sea.

The Husky Oil Company is presently carrying out geological and geophysical exploration in the coastal region of Israel, and has obtained the services of the Weizmann Institute of Science at Rehovoth for gravity work in that area. Louis Franklin, of Houston, Texas, an independent operator and geologist with previous experience in Israel, is manager of operations, and J.C. Gilbert, of the Husky Oil Company, is serving in an advisory capacity.

The Weizmann Institute is also making geological surveys in the Negev in behalf of The New Continental Oil Company. A team of the Institute’s experts, headed by Professor C.L. Pekeris, has been active since July 1st and is expected to complete its work by the end of next month. Wayne Phares, of Calgary, resident geophysicist of The New Continental Company, is presently in Israel supervising the work of the company’s field team.

The two Panamanian companies, founded by independent oil men headed by William F. Buckley of New York, are now engaged in field work to determine the best drilling locations in areas for which they hold licenses. Sidney Schafer, a Houston geophysicist, is directing the work and G. H. Brodie, petroleum geologist from Denver, Colorado, is one of the consultants in connection with the exploration program.

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