With U.S. collaboration, Israel is drilling for oil in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights to meet its energy needs.
U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Israel’s sovereignty over the occupied Syrian plateau has served as a green light for Israel to continue its project of seizing large quantities of underground oil and gas, the Israeli daily Haaretz recently reported.
According to different estimates, the area has around one billion barrels of oil, enough to supply all the energy consumed by the Tel Aviv regime from 2020.
So far, Israel has relied heavily on the world market for more than 99% of its energy needs, importing fuel from Angola, Colombia, Mexico, Egypt, Norway, Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan.
Isolated from most of the region’s pipelines, Israel only has access to the eastern Mediterranean pipeline, which stretches from Arish in Egypt to the city of Ascalon in the southern occupied Palestinian territories. The pipeline is responsible for 40% of Israel’s gas needs.
For decades, several American companies have invested heavily in the search for oil in the Golan Heights, most of them unsuccessfully. Although the explorations date back to the 1970s and their rapid growth to the 1980s, it was not until January 1990 that Israel made public that it had authorized the excavation of oil in occupied Syrian territory.
In 1990, Israeli leaders granted the Israeli National Petroleum Company a license to search for oil on the plateau. At that time, $25 million had been spent on exploration, according to the Firil Study Centre.
The Golan Heights are a plateau located in southern Syria of about 1800 square kilometres, of which Israel occupies 1200, 235 are controlled by the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) and the rest remains under Syrian sovereignty.
Israel occupied in the Six Day War (1967) and the Yom Kippur War (1973) the Altos, a small part of which, the Shebaa Farms, claims Lebanon, and in 1981 annexed them, defying the warnings of the international community and the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).