Oliver spoke to reporters by teleconference from Israel after a private session with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
"The prime minister made the point of expressing his appreciation for Canada's stead-fast support for his country in its unrelenting battle with international terrorism," Oliver said.
The visit produced a couple of co-operation agreements — including one on energy co-operation — but Oliver said his talks with government and company officials suggests major opportunities for Canadian firms in Israel's offshore oil and gas play.
The tiny Middle East country was for many years regarded as a luckless anomaly in the region for its lack of resources, until recently, with confirmation of oil and natural gas strikes off the coast.
Israel is also looking to develop vast resources of shale oil in its territory now that the world price makes production feasible.
"I see a real opportunity if we move quickly," said Oliver.
"We have the experience, we have the expertise and they have the need ... and they need capital. Because it's new and because the country doesn't yet have the expertise, which they will undoubtedly develop, it's an opportunity to be there at an early stage to provide the services and also do the investing."
Oliver said Israel is currently in talks with Cyprus over oil exploration because territorial rights to the find in the eastern Mediterranean are disputed by several countries, including Turkey.
He concedes the situation remains complex, but potentially lucrative for Canadian energy firms to supply expertise and services, as well as investment capital. He notes that other countries are also looking to participate.
Oliver said he is hoping to get the Israeli energy minister to visit Toronto and Calgary to explore opportunities with industry leaders.
Canada's signed a free trade deal with Israel 15 years ago, but its relationship, particularly at the political level, has deepened since the election of Stephen Harper in 2006 and the right wing Netanyahu in 2009.
During his visit to Ottawa in March, the Israeli prime minister was effusive in his appreciation for the change in tone from the Canadian government, which had for years sought to take a more nuanced position on the Israeli-Palestinian dispute.
"When we speak about the difficulties and troubles in [the Middle East], it is particularly encouraging to come to Canada, and later on to the U.S., and know that I stand among friends who share the same values and goals. You are such a friend," he told Harper.
Critics maintain that the unalloyed support has cost Canada's reputation as an impartial player in the world, including a seat in the United Nations Security Council when Arab nations are believed to have banded together to block the bid.Suggest a correction