TEL AVIV (Aug. 25)
The Israel Government was reported today to have reached the decision to order construction of seven 50, 000-ten supertankers for the Israel merchant fleet. This fleet of tankers would make Israel independent of the big oil firms and carriers in the transportation of oil for the country’s requirements. The decision to acquire the tankers was reportedly influenced by the action of British Petroleum and Shell Oil in withdrawing from sales operations in Israel.
It was understood here that orders for four of the huge vessels would be placed immediately, with three more to be placed on order at a later date. Cost of the vessels was estimated at ten million dollars each. The construction orders would be given to those shipyards in various countries which could make quickest delivery. It was recalled here that the Japanese shipbuilding industry was interested in building tankers for Israel and had been prepared to extend the required dollar credits.
Israel has, for some months, been moving crude oil into the country, for refining in the Haifa refineries, in chartered American tankers.