Israel-based firm Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. has secured approval from the Energy Ministry for its new drilling plan.The plan, which was submitted for approval on April 12, was finally approved on July 29. The plan should begin in the mid to late third quarter of 2020, based on the firm's projections, and it will take around five months to drill the Megiddo Jezreel #2 well. Civil work on the pad location is expected to start in mid-August.Issues relating to visas for Zion's rig crews were caused due to the coronavirus pandemic. This is due to the Health Ministry's new involvement in the process, rather than just the Interior Ministry."The amount of progress has been miraculous given the strains on the Israeli government due to COVID-19 and their operating at approximately 30% capacity," Zion CEO Rob Dunn said in a statement. "This drilling plan approval demonstrates Israel's commitment to further energy exploration and the ongoing partnership between Zion and the State of Israel."