THE JOKE has been told by generations of Jews, most famously Golda Meir, the former prime minister of Israel: ‘Why did Moses lead us to the one place in the Middle East without oil?’
But an updated version may be required if Harold Vinegar and his colleagues get their way. Dr Vinegar, the former chief scientist of Royal Dutch Shell, is at the centre of an ambitious project to turn Israel into one of the world’s leading oil producers.
Israel Energy Initiatives, where Dr Vinegar is chief scientist, is working on projects to extract oil and natural gas from oil shale from a 238sq km area of the Shfela Basin, to the south and west of Jerusalem.
Oil shale mining is often frowned upon, not least by the environmental lobby, as a dirty process that is both energy and water-intensive. IEI believes that its technique will be cleaner than that of other operators because the oil will be separated from the shale rock up to 300m beneath the ground. Water will be a by-product of the process rather than being consumed by it in large volumes.
Cookies must be enabled. | The AustralianThis brings two thoughts to mind.
I am sure the Muslims who hate Israel would love to have those oil reserves.
Those in this country would complain even more that Israel should be forsaken.