Jordan has awarded a 40-year licence to two energy firms to explore onshore oil shale reserves within the country, according to media reports.
The agreement with Amman-based Karak International Oil and the Saudi Arabian Corporation for Oil Shale will ultimately see production of 25,000 barrels a day (b/d) and 30,000 b/d respectively of crude from deposits in the Lajoun and Umm Ghadran areas.
Jordan’s energy ministry has set an initial recovery target of 2,500 b/d.
Jordan, according to the World Energy Council, has the world's eighth-largest reserves of oil shale, which differs from shale oil in that it is formed of organic fine-grained sedimentary rock, from which oil can be extracted through heating.
The kingdom imports more than 90 per cent of its energy requirements, and has been looking for ways to reduce dependence on oil and gas imports.
Jordan approved an agreement earlier this month with Iraq to build a twin oil and gas pipeline from Basra to Aqaba, which is expected to meet the kingdom’s energy needs and generate revenues for both countries.
Jordan is also developing its renewable energy sector to address the country’s power needs.
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