September 11, 2008

Jordan Signs Oil Shale Deal With Brazilian-French Consortium

Jordan signs oil shale deal with Brazilian-French consortium

AMMAN, Sept. 10 (Xinhua) -- Jordan on Wednesday signed an oil shale deal with a Brazilian-French consortium, the official Petra news agency reported.

The three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by Natural Resources Authority (NRA) and a consortium including Brazilian Petrobras Company and French Total Company.

Under the MoU, the consortium will carry out a comprehensive excavation program in Wadi Al Maghar area for one year, then it will prepare the feasibility studies for the government on this regard, said Khaldoun Qteishat, head of NRA and Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources.

"The company will need another three years to start producing oil from oil shale in commercial quantities, that is six years from now," added the minister.

Under separate agreements with the 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 Jordan for oil shale extraction.

Jordan is considered one of the five richest countries in oil shale in the world with an estimated reserves of about 40 billion tons, officials said.

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