Zion Oil & Gas has signed a drilling contract with Aladdin Middle East, according to which Aladdin Middle East has committed to provide a completely refurbished and updated 2,000 horsepower rig and crews, and to drill Zion's planned Ma'anit-Rehoboth #2 well directionally to below 18,000 feet.

The well is planned to appraise the strong shows seen in the Triassic and to drill deeper into the Permian formation. It will be the first well drilled to the Permian in northern Israel, said Zion Oil & Gas. The commencement of the drilling program is subject to receipt of various government permits and raising additional capital, whether through Zion’s current public offering or otherwise.

Richard Rinberg, CEO of Zion Oil & Gas, said: This is an important milestone for Zion, one which we have been working towards for a long time. We are very impressed by the quality of Aladdin Middle East’s rig and the professionalism of their people.