Hopes and dreams of a gas bonanza in Israel came to a sudden halt as shares came tumbling down after the Israeli Ministry of National Infrastructure under Minster Uzi Landau decided to cancel any further sale of oil and gas exploration rights, the Israeli business daily Globes reported.
Broken Deals and Shady Investors
Among the companies affected were Sefen Industries and Investment, whose shares fell sharply after a deal for 10% of a gas field off the coast of Ashdod in southern Israel fell through.
Globes reports that shares in Sefen fell first by 43% and then by 37% in the first two days following the news; the failed deal came only three days after Sefen’s stock had risen 290% on rumors on a pending deal.
Another company in trouble is Ratio Oil Exploration after allegations in Israel’s largest newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth claimed that a member of a known Israeli crime family held a stake in the company.
On the tenth of September the Israeli Securities Authority suspended trading with the oil and gas exploration company Givat Olam after they found a report from the company to be unintelligible. The ISA said that they did not manage to make sense of what had or hadn’t been found by Givat Olam from the final engineering report sent to the ISA ahead of a public announcement.
Tamar, Dalit and the Leviathan
Gas exploration in the seas outside of Israel is today focused on the two fields Dailt and Tamar, of which Tamar is the larger one with an estimated 40 billion cubic meters of gas that could cover Israel’s energy needs for 20 years. However, the area that everyone is watching is the even larger Leviathan, a biblical sea monster. It is expected that in the next six months a discovery there would dwarf Tamar as the whale is estimated to hold not only 100 billion cubic meters of natural gas but also oil.
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