Jordan sealed on Wednesday fuel distribution agreements with French and Jordanian firms, moving one step closer to liberalising the country’s fuel market. 
In an agreement signed with the Ministry of Energy on Wednesday, Total Jordan and Manaseer — Jordan’s two largest gas companies — are set to become the country’s first private sector fuel suppliers.
Under the agreement, Total and Manaseer will supply oil derivatives to the country’s 450 gas stations along with the Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company (JPRC), which has so far been the country’s sole distributor. 
In a press statement, Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Alaa Batayneh said the deal comes as part of the government’s efforts to move the country towards a liberalised fuel market providing “the best price” to citizens.
Under the licences, approved in September, each firm will serve as the exclusive fuel supplier to one-third of the country’s gas stations for a three-year period.
Following that, gas station owners will reserve the right to re-up their contract or explore other alternatives, Batayneh said in the statement.
Wednesday’s agreement allows only for local distribution, excluding oil refining processes or import of refined fuel products — domains that are handled exclusively by the JPRC.
Energy officials say they aim to ensure an “open, competitive” fuel market in a bid to improve the country, with the JPRC’s monopoly over the sector set to expire in six years.
The JPRC currently refines 75 per cent of the Jordan’s oil product needs, with the government meeting the remainder with imported refined fuel products from abroad.