News listings

energy-pedia exploration

Israel flagIsrael

Middle East / Africa >>> Israel

Israel: Murdoch, Lord Rothschild invest in Israeli shale oil

24 Nov 2010

Photo - see caption
Oil shale deposits in Israel - Geological Survey of Israel 2008

Lord Jacob Rothschild and Rupert Murdoch have invested in an Israeli venture to produce oil from bituminous-bearing rock (shale) in the Elah Valley in the Judean foothills. Last week, they acquired 11% in equal shares of Genie Energy Corp unit Genie Oil and Gas for a total of $11 million.

Genie Energy, a subsidiary of IDT Corp, is the parent company (89%) of Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI), which holds an exclusive shale oil exploration and production licence covering 238 sq miles in the Adulam district, which is between Beit Shemesh and Beit Guvrin. The company believes that its shale oil cracking technology can free the world from dependence on Arab oil and turn Israel into an energy powerhouse able to produce 300 billion barrels of non-conventional oil at a cost of up to $40 per barrel. 

Genie Energy comprises IDT Energy, which resells electricity and natural gas to customers in New York, and Genie Oil and Gas. Genie Oil and Gas, which received the $11 million investment, consists of American Shale Oil Corp, and the 89% stake in Israel Energy Initiatives.

Negotiations with Lord Jacob Rothschild and Murdoch began six months ago, and Lord Rothschild visited Israel during that time. Genie is involved in similar projects in Colorado and Mongolia. IEI president Effie Eitam, who served as minister of national infrastructures in the Sharon government, told 'Globes' that IEI hopes to obtain a permit from the regional planning and building commission within days to carry out a pilot shale oil project on a six-dunam (1.5-acre) site in the Elah Valley.

Local residents strongly oppose IEI's venture. They fear possible environmental damage from the drilling. Residents claim that the drilling will harm the Adulam District's vistas and nature, as well as its vineyards, which have been called the Israeli Provence.

In response to the residents' claims, Eitam said that Jacob Rothschild was persuaded that the venture will cause no environmental harm, at least in the pilot stage. 'Rothschild has a strong history of supporting the environment. He asked a great many questions on this point, and was persuaded that when the pilot is completed in two years, very few question marks will remain,' he said.

Jacob Rothschild said, 'Rupert Murdoch’s extraordinary achievements speak for themselves and we are very pleased he has agreed to be our partner. Genie Energy is making good technological progress to tap the world’s substantial oil shale deposits which could transform the future prospects of Israel, the Middle East and our allies around the world.'

'Covering and distributing news has been my life’s work,' said Murdoch. 'If Genie’s effort to develop shale oil is successful, as I believe it will be, then the news we’ll report in the coming decades will reflect a more prosperous, more democratic, and more secure world.'

In July 2008, IEI obtained its shale oil and exploration licence from the Ministry of National Infrastructures. Under the licence terms, the company has to launch a pilot project to produce 500 barrels of oil in the Elah Valley by mid-2011. The project will heat shale strata at a depth of 300 meters to a temperature of 300 degree Celsius for two years.

Click here for further information on Israel Oil Shale


Bookmark and Share

A global information service for upstream oil and gas opportunities - divestitures, farmins and farmouts and licensing rounds.

Publicly Available Deals

See all deals...

Subscriber Only Deals

Current deals: 1654
Completed deals: 4766

Company Profiles

Current Company Profiles: 2544

Corporate Activity

Current Corporate Activity articles: 3002

Companies Looking

Current number of articles: 417

Company Sales

Current Company Sales articles:1207


Current Geostudies articles: 547

How to subscribe

energy-pedia Jobs

RSS Feed Widget
See all jobs...

energy-pedia Databank

The energy-pedia databank contains links to information on the world financial and energy markets, including share prices, oil and gas prices and the global stock exchanges. Read more...

energy-pedia Glossary

A list of commonly used terms in the oil and gas industry. Read more...


Subscribe to the FREE
energy-pedia Daily Newsletter

Rose & Assocs 149
KL Publishing
Union Jack Oil 149
SLR Consulting logo
EP Consult Energies
count geophysics
RSK Logo 149
Lynx Information Systems
Government of South Australia
About energy-pedia

energy-pedia news is a FREE news service written and edited by E and P professionals for E and P professionals.

We don't just report the news, we give you the technical background as well, with additional information derived from our unique energy-pedia opportunities service.
Contact us

energy365 Ltd

238 High Street
London Colney
St Albans

Tel: +44(0)1727 822675