Jordan to Rely on Shale Oil to Meet Soaring Domestic Demand
7 August 2012—Jordan aims to extract 40,000 BOPD of oil from its shale oil reserves by 2016 to meet the country’s increasing demand, Jordan Oil Shale Energy Company (JOSECO) said.
JOSECO is a subsidiary of Estonian state-owned Eesti Energia.
Bassam Gagish, the company’s chief executive, said that with the cost of extraction of the shale oil between USD 60 and USD 70 per barrel, shale oil projects would be feasible for his country in light of the current crude oil prices, CNN Arabic reported. “The extracted oil will be destined to the power generation sector, where we plan to provide 500 MW of electricity to the country over the next 40 years,” he said.
Gagish said that oil shale deposits in Jordan underlie more than 60% of Jordanian territory, with the total resources estimated at 40 billion to 70 billion tonnes of shale oil.
The most important and investigated deposits are located in west-central Jordan.
To meet the rapidly growing local demand for hydrocarbons, the Jordanian government signed four memorandums of understanding (MOU) between 2006 and 2007 for aboveground processing of shale oil and one memorandum for in-situ conversion processing.
The first MOU was signed with Eesti Energia, which was awarded the exclusive right to study one-third of the resources of the El Lajjun shale oil deposit. Later this right was transferred to cover a block on the Attarat Umm Ghudran shale oil deposit.
After completing the initial studies, Eesti Energia presented a feasibility report to the government and established a shale oil plant with a capacity of 36,000 B/D operated by the JOSECO. The shale oil plant will use Eesti Energia subsidiary Enefit’s proprietary hot recycled solids shale oil processing method and the construction will begin by 2015.
Jordan also signed a MOU with Brazil's Petrobras, awarding it the exclusive right to study a block at the Attarat Umm Ghudran deposit. The development is carried out with Total and uses the Petrosix shale oil processing method.
Royal Dutch Shell also signed a MOU in 2006 to test its in-situ conversion shale oil processing method in the Azraq and Al-Jafr blocks in central Jordan. According to Shell’s subsidiary, Jordan Oil Shale Company (JOSCO), a decision to invest in a commercial project is unlikely before the late 2020s. JOSCO is not affiliated with JOSECO.
The Saudi Arabian International Corporation for Oil Shale Investment also signed a MOU for the evaluation of the El Lajjun deposit and Attarat Umm Ghudran resources. The company cooperates with Russian Atomenergoproekt to use the Galoter processing method.