US-Israeli oil drilling commences in Golan Heights
Earlier this year six Hezbollah fighters were killed in Golan Heights by Israeli airstrikes, sparking a retaliatory attacks and increased resistance in the area. (AFP/File)
Click here to add Afek Oil and Gas as an alert
Disable alert for Afek Oil and Gas,
Click here to add Effi Eitam as an alert
Disable alert for Effi Eitam,
Click here to add Genie Energy as an alert
Disable alert for Genie Energy,
Click here to add Golan Heights as an alert
Disable alert for Golan Heights,
Click here to add Haifa as an alert
Disable alert for Haifa,
Click here to add Israeli Cabinet as an alert
Disable alert for Israeli Cabinet,
Click here to add Israeli government as an alert
Disable alert for Israeli government,
Click here to add Israeli High Court as an alert
Disable alert for Israeli High Court,
Click here to add Jerusalem Post as an alert
Disable alert for Jerusalem Post,
Click here to add UN Security Council as an alert
Disable alert for UN Security Council
Drilling for oil has begun in the south of the Golan Heights, US oil exploration firm Genie Energy said in statement on Monday.
In September 2014, Afek Oil and Gas, a subsidiary of US-based Genie Energy, initially won the Israeli government's approval for oil drilling on 153 square miles (400 km sq.) of the Golan Heights.
The company's three year license allows for conventional oil exploration to a maximum of 10 wells in the south of the occupied Golan Heights, the Jerusalem Post reported.
The area, at one time Syrian territory, was occupied by Israel during the 1967 Six-Day War and was annexed in 1981. The move sparked criticism of Israel as the annexation of the Golan Heights into Israeli territory is not internationally recognized.
Drilling was planned for mid-January but was delayed several times due to environmental opposition. The Israeli High Court issued an order for the temporary cessation of the Golan Heights drilling operations, to give the state more time to respond to a petition from environmentalists. However, the order was overturned and the petitions were dismissed on December 23.
The Golan Heights is home to Lake Tiberias, Israel's main water source and internationally recognized as an area of natural beauty.
Genie Energy is run by Effi Eitam, a 60-year-old former right wing Israeli Cabinet minister. He currently resides in Golan Heights.
Israel has also discovered two natural gas fields near the northern city of Haifa; the Tamar field with an estimated capacity of 280 billion cubic meters, and the bigger Leviathan field, with an estimated 530 billion cubic meters capacity.
Tamar started production in March 2013, while the Leviathan field is due to start operating in 2016 or 2017.
Following the Six-Day War, the UN Security Council Resolution 242 was adopted to establish principles for setting Israeli borders and withdrawal from territories conq Six-Day War, uered in 1967, including the Golan Heights. The resolution called for Israel to withdraw from occupied territories.
- Al Tayer bucks the US department store trend with Bloomingdale's Kuwait opening
- Gulf Islamic banks set to outperform conventional banks for second year: Moody's
- Jordan secures EU finance for socioeconomic and environmental programs
- Same-day service deliveries in GCC an untapped market: Wing CEO
- Will terror attacks damper Arabs' appetite for European holidays?
- Israel awards Golan Heights oil license
- Netanyahu urges US to recognize Golan Heights as Israeli territory: sources
- Lebanon's clearly missing out: Israel to invite firms to bid for 10 Golan oil blocks
- Israel warns firms to drill faster for oil, gas
- Bashar al Assad - tough choices and a merciless US/Israeli alliance