(March 14, 2019 / JNS) Exxon Mobil Corp is eyeing operating in Israel, which would make it the first major oil company to operate in the Jewish nation, reported Reuters, citing a source with “direct knowledge of the matter.”
The source said that Exxon executives had discussions with Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz in Houston at the annual CERAWeek conference about having the right to look for oil and gas areas off Israel’s shore through bidding in an auction that Israel will conduct in June.
The firm recently got a $50,000 data deal from Israel’s energy ministry ahead of the auction.
Steinitz also met with U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry, focusing on challenges facing the energy industry. It is currently unknown if the possible Exxon deal was discussed between the two.
The source added that an Exxon team toured a data center constructed by the ministry in Jerusalem. That center consists of specific information related to the sub-sea rocks’ geology, estimated to contain more than 561 trillion gallons of gas and 6.6 billion oil barrels.
Both Exxon and Israel’s energy ministry declined to comment to Reuters.