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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Environmentalists: Oil project could kill Dead Sea

TEL AVIV — Israel is debating the feasibility of searching for crude oil near the Dead Sea.

The project has been opposed by environmentalists who warn of permanent damage to the desert.

The government has been discussing a project by two companies to drill for oil on the outskirts of the Judean Desert near the Dead Sea, Middle East Newsline reported.

The two potential contractors have been identified as Ginko Oil Exploration and Delek Energy System. On Aug. 26, the companies briefed Israeli environmental officials on the project.

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In 2006, Ginko discovered a small amount of crude oil near the Dead Sea.

The company, which wants to build a two-kilometer exploratory well, said the area could contain reserves of as much as 6.5 million barrels of oil. Israel consumes 80 million barrels per year.

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