Canadian Co Eyes Jordanian Oil Block - Sources

AMMAN (Dow Jones), Mar. 18, 2010

Canada's Ammonite Energy Ltd. is awaiting approval from the Jordanian government for a preliminary agreement to carry out oil exploration in the kingdom's Jafr and Central Jordan block, a person familiar with the negotiations said Thursday.

"The memorandum of understanding between the Canadian company and the [Jordan's state-run] Natural Resources Authority is for five months and could be extended for another month," the person said.

The NRA offered production-sharing contracts for the Northern Highlands block and the Jafr and Central Jordan block to international companies last year. However, it isn't known which other companies submitted offers.

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 in 2007 four production-sharing contracts with international companies for four exploration blocks, out of a total of eight blocks drawn up by the NRA for exploration.

Jordan has negligible oil reserves, but vast oil shale resources. The kingdom last year signed a concession agreement with Royal Dutch Shell PLC (RDSA) to explore oil in the country's oil shale deposits. Shell is expected to invest billions in the project over 20 years.

Jordan also signed a deal last year with BP PLC (BP) that could be worth up to $8 billion to explore and boost output from the kingdom's Risha gas field, near the border with Iraq.

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