The tight oil was discovered in the offshore Khalij Al-Bahrain Basin, which spans some 2,000 square kilometers (770 square miles) in shallow waters off the country’s western coast. The field also contains an estimated 14 trillion cubic feet of gas.
A lot of shale oil and tight gas in the area
The geology of the find will determine how much oil can be produced and how difficult it will be. The issue is if there is oil that can be frakked to flow out or is heating of kerogen rocks needed to produce oil.
Israel’s shale oil and gas
There is currently conflict over development of vast natural gas fields offshore in the Levant Basin of the Eastern Mediterranean, which could transform Israel into a major world energy producer and change the geo-political landscape. The energy prize is over 122 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, and more 1.8 billion barrels of recoverable oil according to estimates of the US Geologic Survey. The trigger has been the successful exploratory drilling completed by an Israeli American consortium, Noble Energy, Inc of Houston, Texas and Israeli partner Delek Group, which in 2009-2010 discovered more than 26 billion cubic feet of natural gas in several fields offshore in Israel’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) offshore in the Eastern Mediterranean. The Tamar, Leviathan smaller gas field discoveries offshore have the potential of achieving energy independence for Israel and creating a major export market across the Mediterranean in the EU.
There is onshore development of more than 260 billion barrels of oil to be developed from shale formations in the Shfela basin, these natural gas discoveries will transform Israel’s economy, that is, if threats by Israel’s Arab neighbors and Turkey permit its secure development with allies Cyprus and Greece, who would share in important gains.
Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI’s) chief scientist, Harold Vinegar is a giant in the world of energy extraction and production. Vinegar is developing a unique technology that could unlock hundreds of billions of barrels of unconventional oil around the world. In 2008, IEI was granted a research, development, and demonstration license to perform survey drilling in the 90 square-mile area known as the Shfela Basin.
Vinegar has developed a process that requires heating the kerogen to temperatures of around 300 degrees Celsius by drilling heating wells into the oil shale. A smaller number of production wells are also strategically placed in the heating pattern. Because liquid is lighter than rock, the high temperatures bring the lighter liquid to the surface while the heavier rock remains below. Using this process, IEI hopes that, by 2024, Israel will be able to produce 50,000 barrels a day for 25 years.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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