AMMAN — Jordan added to its growing oil shale industry on Monday by signing a deal with a Canadian firm to produce up to 50,000 barrels of shale oil within the next decade.
With a memorandum of understanding signed on Monday, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and Canadian firm Global Oil Shale Holdings (GOSH) took the initial steps towards a 25-year, $32 billion mega-project in central Jordan to provide the country with up to 25 per cent of its energy needs.
Under the agreement, GOSH is set to launch exploration in the central region of Al Attarat — home to the bulk of the country’s estimated 40-billion-tonne oil shale reserves — in a bid to produce 8,000 barrels of oil within the next two years, according to ministry statement.
According to GOSH, should economic feasibility studies prove viable, the project is set to create over 4,000 direct jobs during a two-year time span.
The Canadian deal comes as the fourth oil shale mega-project in Jordan, which is turning to the alternative energy source to wean the country off energy imports that cost the Kingdom over 20 per cent of its gross domestic product.
Enefit, a joint Estonian-Malaysian consortium, is in the planning phases of a 460-megawatt structure set to be built south of Amman by 2016, in parallel with a separate project to produce up to 35,000 tonnes of shale oil per day.
A British-Jordanian firm is in the exploration phase of an initiative to produce up to 15,000 barrels of shale oil per day near Karak, while Royal Dutch Shell is employing an experimental technology to produce up to 40,000 barrels of oil from the eastern desert within the next two decades.