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‘Authorities to float oil exploration tender in February’

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jan 30,2014 - Last updated at Jan 30,2014

AMMAN — The Natural Resources Authority (NRA) on Thursday said it will soon open the door for local and international companies to explore for oil in the Kingdom’s eastern and northeastern regions.

“We are preparing to float a tender for oil exploration in the Sarhan area and Azraq,” NRA Director General Mousa Zyoud told The Jordan Times over the phone.

“The tender is expected to be announced in mid-February for companies to start submitting bids, and the deadline will be announced at a later stage,” he added.

The tender will be the first of its kind to be floated by the NRA, as it entails oil exploration using unconventional methods, Zyoud said.

“The tender is part of our efforts to promote oil exploration across the country,” he added.

Jordan’s oil needs are estimated at around 100,000 barrels per day.

In March 2013, the Cabinet terminated a production sharing agreement with Sonoran Energy to explore for oil in Azraq as the Indian company did not commit to the agreement’s articles.

The Council of Ministers also cancelled an agreement with Universal Energy Limited Company of India to explore and produce oil in Sarhan as the firm did not commit to the working programme under the deal.

In October last year, the Cabinet approved a co-production agreement with the Korea Global Energy Corporation for oil exploration in the Dead Sea and Wadi Araba regions under which it will carry out its exploration in three phases over a 6,819-square-kilometre area.

Also last year, the Cabinet formed a committee to promote oil exploration in the southern region in cooperation with the NRA. 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. 

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