AMMAN (Dow Jones Newswires), Oct. 5, 2011
Shell has drilled more than 100 wells in Jordan in the two years since it a concession agreement to explore for oil from the country's vast oil shale reserves, a person familiar with the project said.
Shell signed a production-sharing agreement with Jordan in May 2009 and pledged to spend some $500 million for exploration, assessment and designs on the project.
The project aims at exploring for and, if successful, developing and producing oil from Jordan's vast oil shale resources that are estimated at 40 billion metric tons.
Many analysts now see oil shale--an unconventional form of oil contained in difficult-to-extract reservoirs--as a serious rival to crude.
Shell is mobilizing two rigs in the project that covers an area of 22,000 square kilometers from northern Jordan and west Safawi to Azraq in the middle and Sirhan and al-Jafer in the south. A third rig will be mobilized next year, the person told Dow Jones Newswires.
If the exploration proves successful Shell would invest billions of dollars and produce thousands of barrels of oil a day, the person said.
Jordan signed similar agreements with companies such as U.K.-registered Jordan Energy & Mining Ltd., or JEML, and Estonian EESTi Energy.
Jordan, home to around 6 million people, imports some 100,000 barrels of oil a day, which constitutes around 98% of its energy needs.
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