Evangelical firm encounters oil in Jezreel Valley

Ability to successfully produce the well still in doubt.

A worker walks near an oil rig belonging to Zion Oil and Gas in northern Israel in 2010. (photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)
A worker walks near an oil rig belonging to Zion Oil and Gas in northern Israel in 2010.
(photo credit: REUTERS/NIR ELIAS)
The Jezreel Valley has long been known as the Holy Land’s fertile valley, but never before was it proven that God had also sown there oil and gas.
On Tuesday, Zion Oil & Gas announced that it encountered free-flowing hydrocarbons while doing work there.
“We were cautiously optimistic given the amount of gas that accumulated in the well after returning from Shabbat after calling total depth at 5,026 meters,” said Dustin Guinn, Zion's President and Chief Operations Officer. “This is obviously very exciting news and as a result, we have decided to continue to drill up to another 70 meters. We expect that to take a couple of days, and barring any operational difficulties, we will continue with our open hole logs immediately thereafter.”
Zion is a Christian oil drilling company. In 1983, during a visit to Israel, Zion founder and chairman John Brown became inspired to find oil and gas in Israel. During the next 17 years he made numerous trips to Israel, and finally in April 2000 he received the award of a small onshore petroleum license from the Israeli government. The company uses a map of the 12 ancient tribes of Israel and the biblical assertion - “the foot of Asher to be dipped in oil on the head of Joseph” - as an unlikely guide to help it decide where to drill. But while Zion’s vision is biblically inspired, the actions taken by the Zion management as it actively explores for oil and gas in Israel are based on modern science and good business practice.
Its CEO said however that there was a still long way to go to see if the oil could be successfully extracted.
“I am ecstatic to see clear evidence of hydrocarbons (oil and gas) in the deeper portion of our Megiddo-Jezreel #1 well – a project that we have been working on for years,” Zion CEO Victor G. Carrillo said. “However, at this time we cannot comment on the commerciality or ability to successfully produce the well. We ask that our shareholders continue to pray for safe and successful drilling, logging, and testing operations, and for God’s wisdom for management as we make key decisions in the following days and weeks.”
On Saturday, conservative evangelical Christian author David Jeremiah gave a lecture about oil in prophecy and the redistribution of wealth through oil, saying that this resource will be the one that decides the fate of End Times.
“The Bible says that God is going to ‘put a hook in the jaws of the nations’ (Ezekiel 38:4) and I believe that hook is going to be the oil. Oil in the Middle East will be like a magnet drawing all the nations to that focal point for the final war that will take place on this earth,” he said.
“I remember reading not long ago when Golda Meir was in office, she made the comment that she was very angry with Moses. She said, ‘Moses led us throughout the wilderness for 40 years and plopped us down in the Middle East in the only place there is no oil!’
“Some people are saying that maybe that’s not true. Perhaps oil is in Israel and the Zion Oil & Gas company is prospecting right now using the Bible to try and find the places in the Holy Land where oil might be deposited,” he said.