’30 mn barrels of oil in West Bank’

    By IANS,

    Ramallah : The Palestinian government said Sunday that its studies indicate the West Bank has at least 30 million barrels of oil in reserves.

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    “We are seeking international investment firms to drill for the petrol,” Palestinian deputy prime minister Mohammed Mustafa told Xinhua. “We hope we will publish invitations for tenders in the coming weeks.”

    Mustafa said the discovery of the oil and gas in the West Bank is considered as “an important step” for the Palestinian economy,” as the Palestinian government has to import oil and gas from Israel.

    “This finding will contribute to increasing Palestine’s revenues and financial resources and promoting a comprehensive economic development.”

    But the exploration and extraction of the oil are likely to face obstacles from Israel, which occupies many parts of the West Bank.

    Earlier, Palestinian officials accused Israel of seizing a field estimated to have 1.5 billion barrels of oil and 182 billion cubic metres of natural gas west of Ramallah.

    About 80 percent of the field is located in Palestinian- controlled area of the West Bank, the officials said, adding however, Israel gets about 800 barrels of oil from it on a daily basis.