American-financed Companies Start Oil Drilling Operations in Israel

Oil drilling operations were begun today by two American-financed companies, Pan-Israel Oil Company and Israel-Mediterranean Petroleum, 20 miles southeast of Tel Aviv. The well, which will be drilled to a depth of 8,000 feet, is located on a 98,000 acre petroleum concession jointly owned by these companies.

According to Mr. H.I. Harris, chief geologist for Pan- Israel and Israel-Mediterranean, the drilling site is the result of ten months of intensive seismograph studies using special American crews and equipment brought to Israel by the companies in August, 1957.

Mr. Harris advised that the joint venture by Pan-Israel and Israel-Mediterranean will seek oil in the Heletz sands, which now produce approximately 2,000 barrels daily from 20 wells in the nearby Heletz field, and will also investigate deeper prospective reservoirs. He said the well will require approximately three months to reach its total depth.

The completion of the Ashdot-Haifa oil pipeline and the arrival at the Haifa Refineries of the first oil via the pipeline was hailed in ceremonies today in Haifa.

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