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The PJ Tatler

by
Bridget Johnson

Bio

February 22, 2013 - 10:31 am

The State Department said it intends to discuss with Israel its award of a permit to an American company to drill for oil in the southern Golan Heights.

Genie Energy, which has oil shale initiatives in Colorado and Israel, announced this week the award from the Israeli government for the exclusive petroleum exploration license in a 153 square mile area.

“The Company believes, based on its preliminary analysis and interpretation of existing geological data, that the newly issued license area may contain significant quantities of conventional oil and gas in relatively tight formations, the development of which would entail significantly different technical approaches and project timelines than the other projects,” Genie said in a statement. “Genie Energy intends to conduct an exploration program to further investigate the size and quality of the resource in the new license area.”

Oil permits in the region have been frozen for 20 years, when Israel and Syria were negotiating the future of this area annexed in the Six-Day War.

The move, a month before President Obama’s trip to the region, is likely to irk the Obama administration as it has accused Israel of provocative development on disputed territories.

“We are aware of press reports regarding the award and do not have any further information regarding the license,” the State Department said in a statement. “We intend to discuss this issue with the Israeli Government. We refer you to the Israeli Government for further information regarding the award.”

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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All Comments   (4)
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King Caboose discusses? I didn't think he knew how to do anything except issue executive orders and whine. Good on the Israelis. Why should we still be protecting Assad's interests?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Well, let's see. When our Prez makes the Israeli PM wait for a scheduled talk and then refuses to even have the man to a working dinner, what, exactly does the Prez expect to get in return?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Definitely question the timing. This is Netanyahu (and Lapid, by extension) putting a stick in Obama's eye in advance of the coming "historic summit". I bet dollars to doughnuts that not a single drop of oil is actually pumped out of the ground at any of these sites.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Is Obummer worried that Israel might become energy independent?

I say good on them if they strike a crap-ton of oil and gas. Sure - its on disputed land but I doubt they'll ever give it back. Why give the Syrian's a platform for future attacks on Israel?

Maybe they'll pay the Syrian's a royalty?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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