Zion Oil & Gas, Inc. announced updated information regarding the import into Israel of a drilling rig and crews owned and employed by Aladdin Middle East Ltd (AME). AME has been contracted to provide a completely refurbished and updated 2,000 horsepower rig and crews to drill Zion’s planned Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 well ‘directionally’ to below 18,000 feet.
The drilling rig arrived by ship at the Israeli Port of Haifa during the evening of April 18, 2009. The required taxes and import charges were paid and the first thirteen loads (out of a total of approximately eighty loads) cleared Israeli Customs on April 19 and were transported to the Ma’anit-Rehoboth #2 drill site and unloaded. The remaining loads are scheduled to be transported to the drill site on April 20 and 21.
Twenty members of AME’s rig crew arrived in Israel on April 18 and 19 and will begin rigging up (i.e. erecting) the drilling rig on April 20. It is planned that drilling operations will start by the end of April.
Zion currently holds two petroleum exploration licenses, the Joseph and Asher-Menashe Licenses, between Netanya on the south and Haifa on the north, covering a total of approximately 162,000 acres. Zion has applied for a further permit area (tentatively named by Zion the Issachar-Zebulun Permit Area) and the application, if granted, will increase Zion’s total license area to over 400,000 acres.
Zion’s Chief Executive Officer, Richard Rinberg, said today, “It has been a long and difficult journey, but we have overcome the many challenges and, in a few days, the drilling rig should begin the drilling of Zion’s second well, on our Joseph License, to the Triassic Formation (down to a depth of 15,400 feet) and then, we plan, to the Permian Formation (down to a depth below 18,000 feet).”
Zion’s common stock trades on the NYSE Amex under the symbol “ZN” and Zion’s warrants trade under the symbol “ZN.WS”.