'Black gold' dream revived by spurts of oil near Dead Sea

Surge of "black gold" no small thing for country that envied the riches oil generated for its neighbors.

By DANIEL KENNEMER
October 13, 2006 03:08
'Black gold' dream revived by spurts of oil near Dead Sea

oil derrick 298.88. (photo credit: AP)

Yehoshua Abutbul ran his hands through the pure black liquid. Just moments before, spurts of crude oil had sent puffs of black mist into the blue desert sky from the Zuk Tamrur 3 drill site, located off the road climbing toward Arad from the Dead Sea. The recent surge of "black gold" at the site was no small thing for a country that has long envied the riches oil has generated for its Arab neighbors. But any dreams of similar energy self-sufficiency and wealth may be premature. The liquid plumes were not proof of a subterranean pocket overflowing with oil, exploding upward as a result of natural pressure. They were, rather, the result of a man-made pump attached to the drill shaft, and there are no guarantees that fountains of crude will follow. "This isn't Saudi Arabia," said Abutbul, a technician with Ginko-Lapidoth. Still, there is significance to the new find by Ginko Oil and Gas Exploration and its partner Lapidoth Israel Oil Prospectors, which last week reactivated an old drilling site to reveal a minor pocket. It shows that oil does flow here. -Full report in the business section-


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