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Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Could Israeli Technology Replace OPEC?

I sure hope so (as it may drop gas prices in everyones tank).

It looks like an Israeli company is turning shale and asphalt into oil, which may make Israel a (future) lucrative partner in the United States.

(Israel 21st Century) Haifa-based A.F.S.K Hom Tov recently demonstrated its patented method of extracting high quality oil and natural gas from a mixture of bitumen and oil shale rock. Bitumen - or asphalt - is the residue obtained by distillation of crude oil.

Experts predict the process will return oil at just $25 dollars a barrel and the additional natural gas produced would further boost the financial feasibility. With crude oil prices currently floating over the $50 a barrel mark, this proposed method is generating interest around the world.

"The world is looking for a replacement for oil supplies," says attorney Moshe Shahal, a former Israeli energy minister and today the legal representative for Hom Tov.

Israel has found enough of this shale within the Negev desert to "keep production going for another 70 years." Although this will not make Israel energy independent, it will allow them to reduce the demand by up to one third.

Other nations are already using this method, although Israel's technique may make it a viable option if fuel prices surge worldwide do various conflicts within the region.

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