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(photo credit: Channel 10)
Oil has been discovered in the Dead Sea area, Dr. Eli Tenenbaum, an official from Genco, the national company responsible for drilling in the region, reported on Wednesday. Tenenbaum stated that the amount of oil could reach commercial levels.
"We noticed that the pressure in the area was very high and when we opened the tap, oil started flowing freely for several minutes," Tenenbaum told Channel 10.
Tenenbaum said that the workers washed their hands with the "black gold" when they made the discovery. "We hope it was the first of many [such discoveries]," he added excitedly.
Not far from the drilling site, the crew spotted an oil reserve that Tenenbaum described as "very attractive," which they believed contained between four and six million barrels, worth an estimated 300 million dollars.
The operation began 10 years ago but was put on hold since it was not deemed economically viable. However, due to the recent soaring oil prices the discovery of new oil sources became necessary.
Genco was drilling at a depth of 2000 meters.
Infrastructure Minister Binyamin Ben Eliezer said it was "just the beginning" and that is was vital to find out whether the oil field was commercially viable or not.
"It is an encouraging sign," he said. "We are checking the entire area and we are opening the whole region for drilling. We will give our full support to any company that wants to try."