TEL AVIV (May. 25)
Despite considerable effort, crude oil and natural gas produced in Israel still accounts for only seven percent of Israel’s annual consumption, Deputy Development Minister Y. Shaari reported to Parliament yesterday. He said there was a need to intensify local prospecting, with greater financial support by the Israel Government. He reported that, during the past 13 years, nearly 200 wells have been drilled, yielding a total of 1,150,000 tons of crude oil and natural gas.
He expressed the hope that international groups would join in the search for oil off Israel’s Mediterranean shore but he stressed the need to restrict concessions to groups financially able to carry out prospecting and drilling programs over a number of years. Israel’s proven reserves of crude oil currently are cited as around 2, 000, 000 tons, and its natural gas reserves as about the equivalent of 1, 600, 000 tons.