BP, Anadarko Bid for Jordan's Risha Gas Field

AMMAN (Dow Jones Newswires), September 1, 2008

U.K. oil major BP PLC and U.S. independent Anadarko Petroleum Corp. have submitted bids to explore and boost production from Jordan's Risha gas field near the border with Iraq, an executive in the Jordanian gas industry said Monday.

"Jordan's National Petroleum Company (or NPC), is evaluating these two bids," the executive who did not want to be named, told Dow Jones Newswires.

The Jordanian company is expected to announce the winner by the end of this month or early next month, he said.

NPC, which will become a partner with the successful bidder, has a 50-year concession, starting from 1996, from the Jordanian government to produce gas from the Risha field.

The field, which started production in 1989, is currently producing 22 million cubic feet of gas a day. Jordan wants to increase gas output from the field to 300 million cubic feet a day by 2015.

NPC estimates the field's reserves at 200 billion cubic feet.

Jordan is also in the final stages of striking a concession agreement with Royal Dutch Shell PLC to explore oil from the country's vast oil shale reserves.

Earlier, an official from Jordan's Natural Resources Authority said that the agreement was expected to be signed in September this year.

The kingdom is also holding talks with U.S. and Canadian companies to sign a production sharing agreement on the Al-Jafr block in central Jordan.

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

Energy poor Jordan is hoping to discover oil and gas in these eight blocks in order to curb a growing bill of energy imports that could reach this around $4 billion, if oil prices remain high. 

Copyright (c) 2008 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.