Jordan Buys More Time to Collect Bids on O&G Blocks

Dow Jones Newswires

AMMAN (Dow Jones Newswires), Jun. 4, 2009

The Jordanian government has extended the closing date for two large oil and gas exploration blocks from May 31 to July 2, the state-run Natural Resources Authority said in its Web site.

The Northern Highlands Block and Jafr and Central Jordan Block are offered to be developed under production sharing contracts in the event of commercial discovery.

NRA said that the date was extended due to "request from international oil and gas companies which approached the NRA in this regard."

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.

Outline information and maps on these two blocks were posted on the NRA website.

The Jordanian government concluded in May 2007 four production sharing contracts with international companies 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 (RDSA.LN) to explore oil in the country's 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 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 its current level of 22 million cubic feet a day, officials said.  

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