Genie Energy, Oil, and the Golan Heights

Genie Energy Ltd. is an American energy company headquartered in Newark, New Jersey. It is a holding company comprising Genie Retail Energy, a retail energy provider in the United States, and Genie Oil and Gas, which develops conventional oil and oil shale projects in the United States, Mongolia, Israel.

Genie was part of IDT Corporation but was spun off on October 31, 2011, at which point Class B common stock of Genie Energy Ltd. began trading on the NYSE under the ticker symbol “GNE”.

Genie’s founder, chairman, controlling shareholder and CEO is Howard Jonas. Avi Goldin serves as the company’s CFO and Geoffrey Rochwarger serves as Vice Chairman. The president of its Israeli subsidiary is Effie Eitam. Genie Energy’s Strategic advisory board is composed of: Dick Cheney (former vice president of the United States), Rupert Murdoch (media mogul and chairman of News Corp), James Woolsey (former CIA director), Larry Summers (former head of the US Treasury), and Bill Richardson, former Governor of New Mexico, an ex-ambassador to the United Nations and United States Energy Secretary.

Genie previously announced a strategic advisory board whose members provide strategic direction and council. Its members include former Vice President Dick Cheney, Michael Steinhardt, Jacob Rothschild, Rupert Murdoch, R. James Woolsey, Jr., Lawrence Summers and Bill Richardson. Mary Landrieu. Former United States Senator from Louisiana from 2006 till 2014. She sponsored the US Israel energy bill, therefore allowing the start of the complete Annexation of the Golan Heights.

In 2013, IDT Energy, Inc., a subsidiary of Genie Energy, acquired both Dallas-based Diversegy, LLC. and its network marketing channel, Epiq Energy. They are now a wholly owned subsidiary of Genie Energy Ltd.

IDT Energy, founded in New York State in 2004, is a deregulated energy provider, or retail energy provider (REP), that resells electricity and natural gas to residential and small business customers in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Maryland and Washington, DCLike other REP’s, IDT Energy competes against incumbent electric and gas utilities as well as over 100 other REPs. Unlike many of its competitors, nearly all of IDT’s customers are on variable rate plans (rather than long term fixed price contracts) and can change supplier at any time.

Genie Oil and Gas

Genie Oil and Gas (GOGAS) explore conventional oil in the Golan Heights through Afek Oil and Gas, and is or has been involved in the oil shale projects through American Shale Oil(AMSO), Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI) and Genie Energy Mongolia. 89% of GOGAS is owned by Genie Energy while Jacob Rothschild, Michael Steinhardt and Rupert Murdoch among others hold minority interests.

Afek Oil and Gas

In February 2013, Israeli authorities awarded Afek Oil and Gas an exclusive 36-month petroleum exploration license to a 153-square-mile (400 km2) plot in the Golan Heights, which the UN recognizes to be Syrian territory. Afek subsequently conducted above-ground geophysical tests and based on its preliminary analysis, has applied for a ten well exploratory drilling program. South of Katzrin in the southern Golan Heights in 2015, Afek discovered a substantial amount of oil and natural gas reserves. The company drilled three exploratory wells: in May, Ness-5, just northwest of the Avnei Eitan and Nov moshavim and south of Kibbutz Natur and the town of Katzrin; in July, Ness-3, near the Bnei Yehuda industrial area; and, in September, Ness-6, located near the entrance of Moshav Kanaf, just southeast of Gamla. As of October 2015, an estimate of the volume of resources and to what extent they may be extractable is unknown.

American Shale Oil

American Shale Oil (AMSO) was a joint venture between Genie Energy and Total S.A.. Genie announced in May 2016 that the partners were closing the venture. AMSO received in 2006 a Research, Development and Demonstration (RD&D) lease from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management in Colorado’s Piceance Basin in order to develop a process for generating oil and gas from deep buried oil shale. The lease comprised a tract of 160 acres (65 ha), and was granted for an initial term of 10 years with the possibility of up to a 5-year extension upon proof of diligent progress toward commercial production. AMSO had no operations and accrued no expenses for the first half of 2014. AMSO’s tech team was headed by Dr. Alan Burnham, a scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. AMSO’s proposed technology was called CCR (Conduction, Convection, Reflux).

Israel Energy Initiatives

Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI) was founded in 2008 to develop oil shale in Israel. In July 2011, the company received a one-year extension of a three-year license to explore oil shale resources on 238 square kilometres (92 sq mi) in Israel’s Shefela region. In September 2014, a government planning committee rejected a building permit for the project. The committee decision essentially killed the project, as IEI did not pursue any means of appeal. By the time of the committee ruling most of the staff of IEI, including Chief Scientist Harold Vinegar, had moved to work at the sister company, Afek.

IEI planned to use In-Situ Conversion Process technology for its pilot project, following the format a 1995 trial by Royal Dutch Shell. Shell subsequently shut down its work on developing the technology.

Israel’s major environmental organizations, including the Jewish National Fund, the Society for the Protection of Nature in Israel, Greenpeace, and the Israel Union for Environmental Defense protested against the IEI license. Environmental concerns include the potential for contaminating Israel’s Shfela aquifer, which runs underneath the Shfela oil shale formation, for destroying a rural region of Israel that currently promotes eco-tourism, and for reversing Israel’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Residents of the local community of Adullam and their supporters led the campaign to stop the IEI work, citing both the environmental damage and the questionable economic value of the project.

Genie Oil Shale Mongolia

Genie Oil Shale Mongolia is a subsidiary of Genie Oil and Gas. It is a project company for oil shale exploration in Mongolia. The company has exploration rights for 34,470-square-kilometre (13,310 sq mi) and 25,000-square-kilometre (9,700 sq mi) plots in Central Mongolia.

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