UOG 2014

The 1st International Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition in Israel

Date: 18-20 November 2014
Location: David Dead Sea Resort Hotel & Spa, Israel


Conference Theme
A New Dawn:
Profiting from Israel’s energy potential today

Universal Oil & Gas proudly established UOG 2014, Israel’s 1st truly International Oil & Gas Conference and Exhibition in Israel, which took place from 18-20 November 2014.

Taking place at the unique setting of the Dead Sea, energy executives from global oil and gas hubs such as Denmark, Aberdeen, Texas, South America, Canada, France and Russia learnt of the future opportunities in Israel’s offshore and onshore energy sector as well as the potential challenges.

As well as the carefully focused and informative conference programme, the Event provided an unprecedented meeting point encouraging business connections and partnerships through B2B Meetings, Networking Sessions and Introductions.

The UOG 2014 Official Post Show Report is now available to download here.

UOG 2014 brought global energy sector professionals together in Israel for the first time in a spirit of partnership and a willingness to share in the exciting opportunities that will be tabled at the Conference.

The UOG 2014 Conference programme consisted of keynote speakers, panel discussions and technical sessions.

The three day conference served as a knowledge-sharing platform focusing on the State of Operations, Doing business, Regulation and Infrastructure in Israel.

UOG 2014 Key Speakers and Panelists:


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.


Founder and Partner of Halman-Aldubi Energy and a Director at Israel Opportunity Oil & Gas Exploration Ltd. Uri is the Chairman of the Halman-Aldubi Investment Group - one of the top ten privately owned financial institutions in Israel.

The Company was established in December 1995 and specializes in provision of mid and long term saving products and business services through provident funds, pension funds, investment management for mutual funds and portfolio management products. The Group manages and operates over $4.5 Billion AUM with approximately 350,000 accounts. Mr. Aldubi holds an MBA in Finance, and a BA in Management and Economics from Tel Aviv University.

With years of investments experience in the oil and gas industry, Uri is the Chairman of the Association of Oil and Gas Exploration Industries in Israel. Established in 2010, the Association is comprised of the leading companies active in the Israeli oil and gas industry, specializing in the exploration and production of oil and gas.

Joseph Paritzky
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.
Barry Smitherman (1)

Barry Smitherman is a fourth generation Texan with a unique blend of private and public sector experience.

Barry is currently the Chairman of the Texas Railroad Commission. Created in 1891, the RRC no longer regulates railroads, but oversees the oil, natural gas, coal mining, intrastate pipeline, and gas utility distribution industries in Texas. He was appointed to this position in July of 2011, by Governor Rick Perry, and was elected statewide in November of 2012, winning with 74% of the vote. His term ends December 31, 2014. Over the last three years, the RRC has issued more oil and gas drilling permits, than it has in a similar three-year period, since the mid 80s. Texas oil production is about 2 mm bbls/day and gas production is about 21 bcf/day. Barry is also the Chairman of the NARUC Gas Committee, a position he has held since January of 2013.

Prior to the RRC, Barry was the Chairman of the Public Utility Commission of Texas, a position to which he was appointed in April of 2004. He was reappointed in September of 2007 and promoted to Chairman in November of 2007. The PUCT oversees the Texas electricity and landline telecommunications industries. The competitive Texas electric market is generally considered one the most dynamic and free market electric models in the world. As Chairman of the PUCT, Barry also sat on the ERCOT Board of Directors, served as Vice President of the Regional State Committee of the Southwest Power Pool and as a two term member of the US DOE Electricity Advisory Committee.

Prior to beginning public service, Barry spent 17 years as either a municipal bond attorney or as a public finance investment banker. He held leadership positions with Lazard, First Boston, JP Morgan, and Bank One, where he was the National head of tax-exempt origination.

Barry graduated with a BBA summa cum laude from Texas A&M University, with a JD from The University of Texas School of Law, and with an MPA from Harvard University’s School of Government where he was the first recipient of the Joel Leff Fellowship in Political Economy.

Barry and his wife of 27 years, Marijane, have four wonderful children and live in Austin, Texas.


Mehmet has more than 30 years of successful track-record in development, investment, government, diplomacy, international organisations, and energy business.

Currently based in London, Mehmet serves as chairman of Global Resources Partnership, an independent non-executive director on the boards of Genel Energy plc and Yasar Group of Companies, and a special envoy for The Energy Charter in Brussels for MENA and Eurasia regions. He also leads the recently created Bosphorus Energy Club, an exclusive gathering of the senior executives and leaders in finance, energy and politics across Turkey, Eurasia, the Middle East and Africa.

He provides strategic advice to several major natural resources and finance corporations on business growth, investment deals, fund-raising, strategic stakeholder alignment, and risk mitigation.

In his early career, Mehmet worked as deputy inspector on the board of Is Bankasi, Turkey’s largest private bank, and undertook projects as NATO Research Fellow and EU’s Jean Monnet Fellow. He was a prominent diplomat, having worked on critical “economic diplomacy” dossiers in Ankara, Beijing, Brussels and Paris, and later as an advisor to the late Turkish Prime Minister, Turgut Ozal.

After leaving the foreign services in 1994, Mehmet joined as a senior staffer at the International Energy Agency heading Eurasia, Asia-Pacific and Latin America programme and the OECD in Paris as principal administrator managing international investment outreach over 11 years.

Mehmet was for six years (2005-2011) the global director for BG Group Plc. in the UK, managing high-level government engagements and new business development around the world. He also worked as the chairman of the International Advisory Board of Invensys plc until 2014.

He was most recently nominated by the Turkish government for the secretary-general position of the world’s largest energy organisation, International Energy Forum, based in Riyadh, and became one of the top two contenders. Mehmet is a graduate of Turkey’s “Mulkiye”, a symbol of the Republican meritocracy, similar to the French École nationale d’administration, London School of Economics (MSc) and College d’Europe (MA), Bruges.

He is an occasional lecturer at London School of Economics’ Enterprise Executive Programme, Harvard University, Dundee University, University of Reading and Peking University’s School of Government since 2005.

As part of The London Speakers Bureau he often speaks at key international and regional conferences around the world and writes in newspapers on future trends, development, investment/finance, energy/food/water nexus and geopolitical matters.

Mehmet is fluent in Turkish, English, French and Chinese (conversational).


Benjamin is Marketing Director for Key Accounts at GE Oil & Gas. Prior to that, he was Senior Market Development Leader at GE Energy covering Europe, Russia/CIS, North Africa, Turkey and Israel. He has over a decade of industry experience in automotive, energy and management consulting focusing on new product development, localization, strategy and market development.

Throughout his career, he has lived and worked in multiple European countries, USA and China. Benjamin holds a joint MSc degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from University of Karlsruhe, ESIEE Paris and University of Southampton, an MBA from CDI in Paris and a PhD in Engineering from National University of Ireland, Galway.


Caspar Veldkamp is the ambassador of the Netherlands to Israel since August 2011. Before becoming ambassador, he worked in high-level positions at the ministry of foreign affairs of the Netherlands in The Hague, notably on Eastern and Southeastern European affairs and regarding the UN and international financial institutions. He represented his country in various meetings of such institutions as the IMF and World Bank, and functioned as a temporary alternate governor for the EBRD, IDB and Asian Development Bank. Previously, he was political counselor at the embassy of the Netherlands in Washington DC  (2002-2006), and private secretary of the Dutch minister for European Affairs (1998-2002). He has experienced the inner workings of the European Union (EU) as a Dutch delegation member to several dozens of EU ministerial and European Council summit meetings. He also worked in various lower-level diplomatic positions in The Hague and at the embassy of his country in Warsaw, Poland (1995-1998). Before joining the foreign service of his country, he worked in the staff of US senator Richard G. Lugar (R-IN) on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, and served as a reserve officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy. Veldkamp has studied business economics and public administration in the Netherlands and the US and did executive programs at Harvard University (US) and INSEAD (France). Apart from his professional life, he has a passion for aviation. He has practiced skydiving, hang gliding and paragliding and has published articles on aviation history. Moreover, he is interested in politics. He is married to Anne, a lawyer of French nationality; they have four teenage children.


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.


Matthew Hagopian is a dual-qualified (English/New York law) partner who acts as the co-head of Linklaters’ Global Energy Sector and also leads its U.S. law energy and project finance practice around the world.

He is a leading practitioner in the oil, gas and power sectors, with a particular focus on LNG and FLNG. He has recently advised on potential solutions for Tamar and Leviathan. Hagopian is recognised as a leading lawyer by Chambers Global.

Shlomo Alfia is a Senior Partner at EY Israel. He has 22 years of experience in providing audit, taxation and consulting services to Oil & Gas companies operating in Israel and abroad and assists them in creating their business models in Israel.

He has also accumulated vast experience in the energy field and has provided services to leading companies including: Avner Oil & Gas Exploration, Delek Drilling, Noble Energy, Woodside, Delek Energy Systems, Yam-Tatis Project, Tamar Project, Leviathan Project, ATP, Isramco Negev 2 LP, Modiin Energy LP, AGR, Lapidot, Israel Opportunity and others.

Shlomo is a graduate in Accounting & Economics and holds a BA Cum Laude in Social Sciences from The Open University. He became a Certified Public Accountant in 1991.


The Israel's Airports Authority Board outlines the IAA's strategy and policy for the management, operation and development of the airports and border terminals under its responsibility. Vice Admiral Eliezer Marum graduated from the IDF Naval Officers Course in 1975. His first sea duty assignment was as an Engine Officer. During his military service, Eliezer held various command and staff positions, including: Detection, Navigation and Communications Officer, Commander of a Missile Boat, Commander F.M.B. (Fast Missile Boat) Squadron, Commander of the Advanced Naval Command Course, Head of Operational Intelligence Department, & Commander of the F.M.B. (Fast Missile Boat) Flotilla, among others. 1999: Eliezer was promoted to the rank of Rear Admiral and appointed Commander of the Haifa Naval Base and the North Arena. 2001: Eliezer was appointed Head of Naval Operations of the Israel Navy. 2003: Eliezer was appointed Chief of Staff of the Israel Navy. 2004-2005: Representative of the IDF at the United States Joint  Forces Command. August 2005: Rear Admiral Eliezer Marum was appointed as the Defence & Armed Forces Attache at the Embassy of Israel in Singapore. October 2007: Eliezer was appointed as the commander in Chief of the Israeli navy. During his service Vice Admiral Marum participated and commanded many operations at sea, most of them were never published. During his term as Head of Operations,  he commanded at sea the capture of the Karin A . During his service as Chief of Staff he organized the establishment of the security system for the Israeli offshore natural gas platforms. October 2011: Eliezer ended his term as Chief of the Navy and retired from active service in August 2012 after 38 years in service. Marum today is a private businessman and strategic consultant. Eliezer is a graduate of the Israel Navy’s Advanced Command Course, the National Defence College, U.S. Navy Senior International Defense Management Program and the Harvard Business School, AMP. He holds an MBA in Social Sciences from the Haifa University. Vice Admiral Eliezer Marum is married to Ora and has three children.

UOG 2014 Conference Agenda Overview

The Conference Programme featured acknowledged industry experts as speakers and covered topics including but not limited to:

fancybox_overlay  The Future of Oil & Gas in Israel and the East Mediterranean

fancybox_overlay  The Role of International Companies in Developing the Israeli Market

fancybox_overlay  The Current Market: Upstream & Midstream

fancybox_overlay  Building Capabilities to Meet Oil & Gas Challenges

fancybox_overlay  Recent Exploration & Development in Israel

fancybox_overlay  Maximising Unconventional Resources

fancybox_overlay  Israel’s Oil & Gas Prospects: The Opportunities

fancybox_overlay  Investment Outlook: Financial resources required & Maximizing investment

fancybox_overlay  Petroleum Regulations: Taxation, Upstream Licensing & other Legal Issues