AMMAN — The Cabinet on Sunday approved a concession agreement signed with the Saudi Arabian Oil Shale Company for the distillation of shale oil.

The company has conducted the required feasibility study for the Atarat Umm Ghadran area.

The study included geological excavations and assessments of the environmental impact of the project.

The company will use the Russian technology (UTT-3000) with a production capacity that starts at 2,650 barrels a day, reaching 30,000 barrels over a period of four to eight years. The project is estimated to cost $1.93 billion (around JD1.4 billion).

Also during Sunday’s session, chaired by Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour, the Cabinet approved a co-production agreement with the Korea Global Energy Corporation for oil exploration in the Dead Sea and Wadi Araba areas.

The corporation will carry out its exploration works over a 6,819-square-kilometre area in three phases.

Under the agreement, the Korean company will implement its contractual obligations for the four-year exploration phas, during which it will conduct geological studies of the area, including a seismic survey, and drill three wells for oil exploration.

In addition, the Council of Ministers decided to form a committee to promote areas in southern Jordan for oil exploration in cooperation with the Natural Resources Authority.

The committee is part of the government’s efforts to open and market areas for potential oil exploration, especially due to the unprecedented hike in oil prices.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet approved the resignation of Amer Majali from his position as head of the Development and Free Zones Commission after he was named as chairman of the Jordan Phosphate Mines Company board on Saturday.