UOG 2015 Day 1

UOG 2015 Day 1

Click on speaker names to view their personal bios.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015 – Day 1

Registration Open from 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM
Exhibit Hall Open from 8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
Exhibit Hall Refreshments

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Michael Beagelman, Chief Executive Officer, Universal Oil & Gas

Dr. Yuval Steinitz, Minister of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources, Israeli Government
Dr. Yuval Steinitz was born in Israel in 1958. He completed his IDF service in the Golani Brigade and served as a reservist in the Alexandroni Brigade. He holds a B.A. and M.A. (with honors) in Philosophy from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Tel Aviv University. He received the Alon Prize for Ph.D. Students in 1993. He is married and the father of three children. Steinitz was a Senior Lecturer in the Philosophy Department at Haifa University. He served as President of the Association for the Public's Right to Know (1999-2004). A Member of Knesset since 1999, Steinitz has served as member and chairman of the Foreign Affairs & Defense Committee, and as member of the Constitution, Law and Justice, and the Science and Technology Committees. He chaired the Committee for the Examination of the Intelligence Services Following the War in Iraq as well as the Parliamentary Inquiry Committee for the Events that Took Place in Amona. Since 2003 he has co-chaired the Joint Congress-Knesset Security Committee, together with Senator John Kyl (Arizona). Yuval Steinitz was appointed Minister of Finance in March 2009, serving until March 2013, when he was appointed Minister of Strategic and Intelligence Affairs responsible for International Relations. In May 2015 he was appointed Minister of National Infrastructure, Energy, and Water, and has the responsibility of developing Israel’s oil & gas industry.


10:00 AM – 12:30 PM: SESSION 1
Development of Israeli gas reserves, new resources, top issues facing the Israeli oil and gas sector offshore and onshore.

Barry Smitherman, Partner, Energy Regulation, Vinson & Elkins,Former Chairman, Texas Railroad Commission (Session Moderator)

Barry is the only person to ever serve on both the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUCT) and the Railroad Commission of Texas (RRC), and is a nationally recognized authority on a number of emerging energy trends. With this background, Barry brings unique experience and perspective when advising clients on issues relating to state and federal regulations, energy project development, legislative matters, and energy litigation.

Barry’s experience at the PUCT and RRC, coupled with his service on a number of national and regional energy-focused boards and committees, gives him particular insight into emerging developments such as unconventional oil and gas development, electric transmission development, renewable energy generation, and energy storage. Barry was appointed to the RRC in 2011 to serve an unexpired term and, in 2012, was elected statewide for a two-year term. He was later chosen by his colleagues to serve as chairman of the RRC. During his chairmanship, he also served as chair of the Gas Committee of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners from 2013 to 2014. Prior to his service with the RRC, Barry was a member of the PUCT for more than seven years and served as chairman of the agency for most of 2007 to 2011. In addition to a number of significant achievements, Barry is best known for leading the PUCT’s adoption and management of the 3,600-mile Competitive Renewable Energy Zone transmission line project, handling routing disputes and acting as the agency’s liaison with the Texas Legislature, service providers, and landowners. Prior to beginning public service, Barry spent 16 years as an investment banker. He held leadership positions with several firms, including Lazard, where he led the Houston office; The First Boston Corporation, where he was co-head of the “sunbelt infrastructure” group; J.P. Morgan Securities, where he was head of Texas public finance; and Banc One Capital Markets, where he was the National Head of tax-exempt origination. During this time, he managed billions in municipal bond offerings on behalf of state and local governments.

Yiftach Ron-Tal, Chairman, Israel Electric Cooperation
Yiftach Ron-Tal is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors at Israel Electric Corporation. Israel Electric Corporation is the main generator, supplier, transmitter and distributer of electrical power in Israel. IEC owns and operates 17 power stations with 63 generating units: 18 steam-driven and 30 gas turbines, and the company’s installed capacity stood at 13,617 MW. The corporation employs 12,754 workers and provides service to 2.63million customers. Before Mr Ron-Tal’s position at IEC, he was Chairman of the Board at Israel Ports Development and Assets Company (IPC) between 2007 and 2010 and Commander in the IDF Ground Forces (2001-2005). Mr Ron-Tal is  member of the Israel Bar Association since 1994 (membership is restricted according to Section 52b of the Chamber of Advocates Law - 1961 due to non-occupation in the profession, between 1997-2002 and as of 2011). Military Rank: Major General (Res.). He was born in 1956 and graduated with an Executive M.B.A. from Bar-Ilan University in 2006, and obtained an LLB from The Faculty of Law at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1991.

Bini Zomer, Israel Country Manager, Noble Energy
Binyamin Zomer was appointed to Noble Energy Country Manager in Israel in September 2014. Prior to that, he served as Noble Energy's Director of Corporate Affairs in Israel since January 2010. In that capacity, Bini was responsible for Noble's government relations, media relations and corporate social responsibility projects. His responsibilities also include a number of commercial endeavors. In 2014, Bini added the role of Joint Venture Manager to his responsibilities. As JV Manager, Bini is responsible managing the business relationship between the various partnerships that Noble operates off-shore Israel. Prior to joining Noble, Bini served as Deputy Director for Policy and Government Affairs at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) where he focused on energy and homeland security issues. Before joining AIPAC, Bini was Director of Federal Government Relations at Accenture LLP and before that served as Counsel to Don Nickles, US Senator from Oklahoma, after practicing law in Chicago. Bini has a Law degree from the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis and a B.A. in Government from the University of Texas. Bini and his wife, Heather, made Aliyah in 2010 and reside in Modi’in with their four daughters.

Dr. Michael Gardosh, Head of Geology & Geophysics, Israel Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources

Dr. Michael Gardosh is the Head of Geology and Geophysics Department in the Natural Resources Administration of the Ministry of National Infrastructures, Energy and Water Resources. He holds BA and MA degrees in Geology from Hebrew University and PHD degree in Geophysics from Tel Aviv University. Michael started his career in Oil and Gas in the Israel National Oil Company (INOC); where he was trained and then involved in various exploration and drilling projects in the Dead Sea Basin and other parts of Israel, since 1989. He later moved to the Geophysical Institute of Israel (GII) and worked as a research scientist, focusing on seismic interpretation and basin studies. During his career in the GII he studied extensively the Eastern Mediterranean region and his work on the geology of the Levantin Basin is considered a milestone in the development of hydrocarbon resources offshore Israel.

Dr. Gardosh joined the Ministry of Energy in 2010. He created the G&G Department and developed its capacity to review and regulate exploration activity and to evaluate hydrocarbon resources. At present Dr. Gardosh is leading long-term projects to promote exploration activity offshore and onshore and to construct National Data Repository for Oil and Gas in Israel. Michael is a member of the Israeli Geological Society and the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. He published many articles and professional reports, and continues working with students and teaching courses in Petroleum Geology and Seismic Interpretation in Tel Aviv University.


12:30 PM – 1:30 PM
Exhibit Hall Lunch


1:30 PM – 3:00 PM: SESSION 2
This session discusses opportunities, developments and emerging trends and technology for Israel’s current onshore/offshore resources including seismic field development, and the use of floating LNG production plants.

Zvi Rome, Founder, Petco International Ltd., Chairman, Energy Committee, Israel-America Chamber of Commerce (Session Moderator)
Mr. Rome is the Co-Founder of Petco Int'l, established in 1981. Petco is an American Energy Consulting Group, based in McLean Virginia USA, with offices in Spain, Italy and Israel. Under his leadership, Petco has implemented several large energy projects in the state of Israel and the Mediterranean Region, and has fostered industrial cooperation between US, EU and Israeli firms. For over three decades, Petco projects have resulted in more than $4 Billion in additional sales to Petco’s clients. Petco projects include delivering over 12 million tons of Consol US coal to Israel Electric power plants; assisting the Gov't of Israel in privatizing its refineries; helped Wood Group Power execute an EPC contract for an 800MW power plant and developed the project that provided Excelerate Energy’s Regas LNG ship to Israel Electric. Mr. Rome resides in Israel and attends bi-monthly meetings at Petco's DC office. His civic activities include: Int'l Advisor to the US Energy Assoc. at the US Dep’t of Energy; He is Senior Advisor to the US Atlantic Council's Energy Security Committee. He also serves on the Board of Israel US Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Rome is married to Barbara Opall-Rome and has 4 children.

Daniel Bustos, Chief Development Officer, Excelerate Energy
Daniel Bustos is the Chief Development Officer for Excelerate Energy, with responsibility for the commercial development of LNG importation projects. He formerly served as the Senior Vice President of Project Origination for Excelerate Energy. Prior to joining Excelerate, Daniel worked for Repsol YPF in various positions for both E&P and downstream business in Latin America, including leading Repsol´s oil and gas commercial activities in Bolivia, development of the propane business in Latin America, and managing strategic planning and development for the natural gas division in Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. In 2007 Daniel was part of the Repsol´s team that developed Bahía Blanca GasPort®, the world´s first floating regasification terminal. Daniel earned a Nuclear Engineering Degree from Instituto Balseiro (Argentina) in 1997 and holds both a Nuclear Engineering Master Degree and an MBA in Corporate Finance.

Dr. Harold Vinegar, Chief Scientist, Genie Oil & Gas, IEI, Afek Israel Oil & Gas, Former Chief Scientist, Royal Dutch Shell

Dr. Vinegar was previously Chief Scientist, Physics of Royal Dutch Shell. He is presently the Chief Scientist of Israel Energy Initiatives (IEI), Afek Israel Oil & Gas and Genie Oil & Gas. He holds MA and PHD degrees in physics from Harvard University and a BA in physics from Columbia. Harold joined Shell's Bellaire Research Centre in Houston, Texas in 1976. During his career at Shell, he had over 50 publications and 290 patents in the fields of shaly sand evaluation, X-ray CT, NMR well logging, microseismic imaging and wireless power and communications for intelligent oil wells.

He was co-inventor of the in situ thermal desorption process for soil remediation and was instrumental in the formation of TerraTherm Environmental Services, an affiliate of Shell Oil Co. created to commercialise the in situ thermal desorption process. Dr. Vinegar has had a career interest spanning over 35 years in applying novel recovery processes to unconventional resources. He is the co-inventor of the in situ conversion and upgrading processes (ICP and IUP) which have been piloted successfully in Colorado oil shale and Alberta oil sands. Harold served as President and VP Technology of the Society of Core Analysts (SCA). He received the Society of Petrophysicists (SPWLA) Distinguished Technical Achievement Award in 1992 and the Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement in 2010.

He was elected Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in 1999, cited " for contributions to the science and technology of oil exploration and environmental remediation, particularly thermal methods for extracting hydrocarbons from the ground and for applications of NMR methods to well logging." He was inducted into the US national Academy of Engineering (NAE) in 2003 and served on the US National Research Council (NRC) Committee on Earth Resources.

Since retiring from Shell in October, 2008, Harold and his family fulfilled a lifelong dream and emigrated to Israel. He is Professor of Petroleum Geosciences at Ben Gurion University of the Negev where his research centres on making Israeli energy independent.

Dr. Stephanie Gaswirth, Senior Research Geologist, US Geological Survey

Stephanie has been a research geologist focused on national and global assessment of petroleum resources since joining the USGS in 2006. She has worked on resource assessments of the Williston and Anadarko basins, and was the task leader for the assessment of the continuous oil resources of the Bakken and Three Forks Formation in 2013. She is currently the lead on the assessment of continuous resources in the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico, U.S.A.

Prior to joining the USGS, she worked for Exxonmobil Upstream Research Company. Stephanie received a B.A. degree from Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and M.S. degree from Rutgers University, New Brunswick, New Jersey, and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. Her research interests focus on carbonate diagenesis its impact on reservoir quality.


3:00 PM – 3:30 PM
Coffee Break and B2B Meetings


3:30 PM – 5:00 PM: SESSION 3
This panel discussion will be informative and up-to-the-minute discussing details, developments and nuances on how the current climate will influence Israel’s prospects.

Gideon Tadmor, Chairman, Delek Drilling
With over 20 years of extensive experience initiating and managing Exploration and Production projects worldwide, Gideon is the Chairman of Delek Drilling & CEO of Avner, positions he has held for the past 15 years. Gideon is one of the founders and major drivers behind the success of the Eastern Mediterranean oil & gas industry. Gideon led the successful development of the Yam Tethys project, Israel’s first producing natural gas reservoir discovered in 2000. Gideon continued to lead the development of the oil & gas sector in Israel with the extremely successful discovery & development of the Tamar natural gas field. Tamar has been producing natural gas since 2013 and will provide Israel with the majority of its natural gas needs over the next 20 years. In addition, the Companies under Gideon’s leadership are in the process of developing one of the world’s largest natural gas discoveries; Leviathan. Leviathan with 22 TCF of natural gas will transform the East Med region into a significant export hub over the next few years. Gideon has an L.LB, is a member of the Israel Bar Association and holds the rank of Major in the Israel Defense Force.

Morris Dorfman, Deputy Head of the National Economic Council, Israel Prime Minister’s Office
Morris Dorfman has been working at the Israel Prime Minister's Office since January 2010. He is currently the Deputy Head of the National Economic Council, commencing this role at the Office in February 2013. He started working on the National Economic Council in August 2010 as a Senior Economist. Morris meets with many international investors on a weekly basis, particularly from the U.S, Europe and China, who are looking to invest in Israel. Morris started his career as an Economist at the Bank of Israel 2006 to 2008, before working for TASC Strategic Consulting until 2010. Between 2010 and 2013, Morris volunteered as a Project Manager at NOVA. Morris has a MA in Financial Economics from The Hebrew University in Jerusalem, attending there 2003-2008.

Michal Franco, Consultant, Oil & Gas Industry, Former Senior Adviser to the Israel Ministry of Energy

Michal Franco Kedmi is an independent business consultant based in London. Up until recently Michal served as the Senior Adviser to the Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Energy and Water Resources. Michal founded an energy consulting business that specializes in public affairs and regulatory consulting, contract management, strategy development and market entry services –mainly in the Israeli market.

Listed in Israel’s Top 40 most promising young professionals by Israel’s leading financial magazine Michal gained critical experience and most intimate knowledge of the fast growing natural gas industry in the Mediterranean basin and has been deeply involved in the formulation of the export of natural gas policy of the Israeli government. She is a specialist both international and Israeli infrastructure markets, public and private sectors alike.

Michal is a Board Member of the ‘Ezra & Bizaron Company’, a specialized construction and preservation company for the City of Tel-Aviv and was a Member of the Board of Israel Railways, one of the country’s largest public companies. She also specializes in renewable energy and clean-tech as well as in policy and regulation formulation and development. Michal is a certified Israeli Lawyer and earned her LL.B (Cum Laude) and LL.M, specializing in commercial Law from Tel-Aviv University.

5:00 PM – 5:45 PM: SPECIAL PANEL




The Danish-Israeli Expert Panel will present and discuss key findings and recommendations from the bilateral pre-conference symposium to the industry and officials.

Click here for more information

The Danish-Israeli Expert Panel will present and discuss key findings and recommendations from the bilateral pre-conference symposium to the industry and officials.

The focus of the symposium will be to discuss oil and gas exploration and extraction on the basis of a R&D and educational perspective, development of academia to meet the growing demand of i.e. geo science and petroleum engineers, and capacity building in general. The aim is to facilitate in-depth discussions among Danish and Israeli researchers with a view to share knowledge and explore collaboration opportunities on research and education, such as applications for Horizon 2020, exchange and joint programmes.

The bilateral Oil & Gas symposium is organized by the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science and the Danish Embassy in Israel.

5:45 PM – 7:30 PM