Drill site at ‘crown of Joseph’
(photo: Zionoil.com)

JERUSALEM – Does Israel have beneath its surface an enormous oil reserve mapped out in the Old Testament that when found will immediately change the geopolitical structure of the Middle East and confirm the validity of the Bible to people around the world?

So believe the officers of Zion Oil, a company using updated scientific methods alongside biblical text to explore for oil north of Tel Aviv. The company, which recently filed for an initial public offering on the American Stock Exchange, says it is making headway – including locating areas conducive to oil storage – and expects interesting finds in the very near future.

“The Bible spells out where the oil is,” Zion Oil’s founder and chairman, John Brown, recently told WND outside his drilling rig at Kibbutz Ma’anit off a highway between Haifa and Tel Aviv.

“It’s very specific,” Brown said. “Now we’re here to find it, and I know that when we do, the Scriptures will come alive for everyone who hears about it. And Israel will have enough oil not to worry about all the implications of the Arab states using their oil to threaten and gain power.”

Map indicates land given to Twelve Tribes of Israel

Brown and other Zion Oil employees are barred from talking to the media due to several pending contracts, but the company released on its website details of its progress toward possibly striking oil in the Holy Land.

Last year, as WND reported, Zion began drilling at its Kibutz Ma’anit site after Israel granted the company a license that includes 95,800 acres in the area Brown believes contains oil. Brown says he used a strategy explained to him by James Spillman, an evangelical minister and Bible scholar who lectured at his local church, to determine exactly where on the biblical map the oil might be.

Brown, speaking to WND in September, referred to several biblical passages he says he is certain indicate where to find petroleum. He stressed that two passages, detailing God’s blessings to each of biblical patriarch Jacob’s 12 sons, are very specific:

  • “Let Asher be blessed … and let him dip his foot in oil.” – Deuteronomy 33:24

  • “Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well … blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that couches beneath shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head.” – Genesis 49: 22-26

Brown also pointed to other verses, such as the continuation of Joseph’s blessing in Deuteronomy 33: “For the deep that couches beneath … and for the chief things of the ancient mountains, and for the precious things of primordial hills, and for the precious things of the earth.”

The Twelve Tribes were each given a section of Israel as inheritance, Brown explains.

Mapping the tribes’ biblical territory indeed shows that Asher’s area resembles a giant foot “dipped” into the top, or “crown” area, of the land of Joseph’s son, Manasseh.

“The oil is there, where Joseph’s head is met by Asher’s foot,” Brown previously told WND, explaining Kibbutz Ma’anit falls within the range.

Another company drilled prior to Zion in Ma’anit through several earth layers to a depth of 7,600 feet, past the Jurassic crest, but did not permeate any reefs containing petroleum and reportedly had to suspend operations due to lack of funds.

Geologists told Zion Oil the Jurassic area beneath the drilling site consisted of closely packed limestone that was not porous enough to store vast sums of oil.

So Zion, backed by cash from private Jewish and Christian investors, set up shop and dug past the Jurassic zone, drilling to about 15,000 feet to the deep Triassic layers, where tests indicate nine rock intervals may contain oil.

Brown said the company, as well as independent contractors, conducted seismic and geologic studies that found the drill area contains signs of hydrocarbons evidencing likely oil and rock intervals deep in the ground conducive to petroleum storage.

The company also says studies indicate a large structural feature perhaps 5,000-10,000 feet deeper than the current drilling zone may contain a formation that has enough oil to make Israel a world-class producer.

Drilling at Ma’anit currently is suspended while the company conducts tests with a second well in the area that reportedly can reach deep zones faster.

Zion says it has plans to drill at another site within its license area, dubbed the “Joseph 1,” under which geological testing reportedly indicates a large reef structure conducive to storing oil.

And Zion this past August was awarded another license by Israel to drill within an additional 121,000 acres adjacent to the Joseph site. The company believes the new license area, which they have dubbed the Asher Zone, lies directly on the crown of the head of Joseph and under the foot of Asher spelled out in the Bible, according to maps of Israel’s ancient tribal boundaries.

Zion Oil’s website says in 2006 the company plans to continue drilling at the Ma’anit site and eventually expand to the Asher Zone, expecting continuous oil and gas exploration in the area over the next few years.

Brown previously told WND he hopes his company enhances Israel’s international position.

“You have these Arab states that threaten boycotts and throw their oil weight around to get countries to pressure Israel,” he said. “Imagine if Israel becomes a huge oil producer. There will be no more placating anyone since they have the oil.”

Brown continued: “Of course there are the giant biblical implications. This will get people thinking about God and realizing His word is the truth.”

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