Repsol, INA Eye Jordan Exploration Block

AMMAN (Dow Jones Newswires), Jun. 23, 2009

Spain's Repsol YPF SA and Croatia's INA dd are interested in entering sharing agreements with Jordan to explore for oil and gas, a source at the kingdom's Natural Resources Authority said Tuesday.

"Repsol and INA are interested in the Northern Highlands Block," the source told Dow Jones Newswires.

INA is 47.15% owned by Hungarian oil and gas company MOL Nyrt.

NRA offered production-sharing contracts for the Northern Highlands and Jafr and Central Jordan Blocks to international companies and set July 2 as the closing date for offers. The Northern Highland Block, near the border with Syria, has a total area of 7,500 square kilometers. The block adjoins the West Safawi Block. The Jafr Block is part of the oil and gas prospective areas in Jordan and adjoins the producing oil field at Azraq and the promising one in Sirhan.

The Jordanian government concluded four production sharing contracts with international companies in May 2007 for four exploration blocks, out of a total of eight blocks drawn up the NRA for exploration.

Jordan signed last month a concession agreement with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to explore for oil in its vast oil shale deposits. Shell is expected to invest billions in the project over 20 years.

The project would cover an area of 22,000 square kilometers and could produce thousands of barrels of oil from oil shale. Jordan is also in the final stages of striking another deal with oil major BP PLC to explore and boost output from the Kingdom's Risha gas field.

Jordan, which is home to around 6 million people and imports around 95% of its energy needs, aims to boost production from the Risha gas field, near the border with Iraq, to 50 million cubic feet a day in the first investment stage from 22 million cubic feet a day now, officials said.  

Copyright (c) 2009 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.

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