The field at Lajjun, which is south of the capital Amman, will be first oil shale project in Jordan, says company director Munther Akroush.

“The oil reservoir in Lajjun oil shale wells is absolutely promising in terms of quantity, type and specifications. According to our study, there are 700 million barrels of oil in Lajjun alone. We are now seeking an environmental licence,” Akroush says.

Akroush expects to sign a final agreement with the government in mid 2008. By 2009, the field will produce 10,000 barrels of oil a day. Production should eventually reach 50,000 barrels a day, Akroush says.

Fields of oil shale are more expensive to drill than conventional oil fields because the sand like medium within which the oil is contained, requires a greater amount of processing to extract crude.