Nine local and international companies have until 10 August to submit proposals for a four-month advisory contract to devise a strategy for restructuring the Natural Resources Authority (NRA). The restructuring is part of a drive to modernise the organisation responsible for the exploitation of the kingdom's natural resources in order to attract international investment in its oil and mining sectors. The company that wins the mandate will also be required to develop new legislation covering the organisation.
The NRA will launch towards year-end a major marketing campaign to attract international oil companies (IOCs) to the country. The NRA is seeking interest from IOCs in licences to explore and develop into production sharing agreements (PSAs) seven blocks - East Safawi, West Safawi, Northern Highlands, Azraq, North Sarhan, South Sarhan and Jafr. It says that it will offer highly favourable terms in the new bid round. Four IOCs from the US, Croatia and Russia have already registered interest in some of the blocks. The NRA is also evaluating a proposal from Australia's NFG Developmentto sign a PSA covering Wadi Sarhan, which includes the two Sarhan blocks. NFG signed in October a memorandum of understanding with the NRA to evaluate the two blocks. Several IOCs have unsuccessfully explored for oil and gas in recent years, including: Tatneft of Russia, with Canada's Dauntless Petroleum; the UK's Star Petroleum; and the local/US Trans Global Petroleum Jordan(MEED 17:9:03).