The presence of asphalt and oil showings in the vicinity of the Dead Sea and near Hasbeya, west of Mount Hermon, has long been known; and these, together with the asphalt-rock occurrences, have led many to believe commercial oil deposits might be found in Palestine. The so-called asphalt rock or bituminous limestone has no relationship to the occurrence of oil. The asphalt and oil seepages, where present along fault lines, signify nothing as regards commercial oil where they appear, except as they are suggestive that, in localities where traps occur which have not been disturbed by faulting, oil may be present in commercial quantity. Although all of Palestine is faulted into large fault blocks, within such blocks there are thirty-seven structural domes which might act as traps for oil and gas; but where igneous intrusions occur with such structures, it is less likely that they will produce. Promising domes occur in Palestine west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, with the possible exception of the basalt-covered areas. From the Jordan and the Dead Sea eastward to the Hedjaz Railway, because of the basalt intrusions and exposure of lower beds by uplift, there is very little promise, though some folds are probable in this area. Of a total of 12,700 square miles in Palestine proper, more than 300 square miles offer structural conditions warranting tests for oil and gas. This offers an unusually high percentage of possible oil-bearing area, considering the small size of the state—about the size of Vermont.

The Sinaitic Peninsula also offers possibilities.

The formations range from Eocene to Precambrian. Cretaceous limestones and marls form the great bulk of the beds to be penetrated, and next below is the Nubian sandstone and several hundred feet of Carboniferous sandstones, limestones, and shales. There are eight possible oil horizons, half of which have a good chance to produce.

With ample reservoir beds, with ample source material, and with good structural traps, we see every reason for the development of an oil supply in Palestine. We are anxious to see this development undertaken because it would speed the upbuilding of Palestine as nothing else can.

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