September 2, 2008

Jordan to Tune Oil Shale into Commercial Oil in 3 Years

Jordan to tune oil shale into commercial oil in 3 years

AMMAN, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- Jordan is expected to conclude a new oil shale deal which promises to pump oil in commercial quantities within three years, four years ahead of previous estimate, local daily The Jordan Times quoted a top official on Sunday.

"A specialized company has contacted the government recently, expressing its interest to invest in the kingdom's huge reserves of oil shale," said an official on condition of anonymity.

He declined to name the company but revealed that the firm would rely on Russian techniques in extracting oil from oil shale.

According to the official, the MoU will include incentives for the company if it could produce oil in three years but also entails a penalty clause if the deadline is not met.

Under separate agreements with the Natural Resources Authority (NRA), Estonian company Eesti Energia, Brazilian firm Petrobras, Jordanian-British Jordan Energy and Mining Limited, Royal Dutch Shell Oil and a Saudi firm are currently examining separate blocks in Al Attarat and Lajoun areas for oil shale extraction.

According to NRA Director General Maher Hijazin, Jordan is considered one of the five richest countries in oil shale in the world with an estimated reserves of about 40 billion tonnes, which is expected to be doubled in the coming years.

The oil shale mainly exist in 21 sites concentrated by the Yarmouk River, Buweida, Beit Ras, Rweished, Karak, Madaba and Maan.

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