Shlomi Fogel in talks to buy drilling co GGR

Energy market sources say that Fogel sees the acquisition of GGR as a step toward establishing Israel's first drilling company.

Businessman Shlomo Fogel is in talks to acquire the controlling interest in GeoGlobal Resources Inc. (AMEX: GGR), the drilling operating in the Myra and Sarah wells. He is considered one of Israel's wealthiest and most secretive businessmen. He is a partner with Shlomo Smeltzer in Israel Shipyards Ltd. and the controlling shareholder of Ampa Ltd.

Energy market sources say that Fogel sees the acquisition of GGR as a step toward establishing Israel's first drilling company. The establishment of such a company would enable Fogel to become an important figure in Israel's oil and gas exploration industry, which suffers from a paucity of serious foreign drilling companies. Currently, Fogel is indirectly involved in the industry, through Israel Shipyards, supplying services to the Tamar partners. Israel Shipyards also manufactures special connectors for the undersea pipeline as part of the Tamar gas field development project.

GGR is a Canadian company listed on the American Stock Exchange at a market cap of $8.65 million. Its main shareholder is Israel Land Development Company (TASE: ILDC), controlled by Ofer Nimrodi, which acquired a third of its shares early this year. Israel Land Development Company Energy Ltd. (TASE: IE) CEO Ohad Marani and Israel Land CEO Eli Cohen were GGR directors, but resigned when the Myra and Sarah wells turned out to be dry holes.

In addition to Israel, GGR is the drilling operator in four licenses in India, and a license in Colombia.

Fogel declined to respond to the report.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on December 13, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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