British, Australian oil firms to search for petrol in Jordan

Published October 3rd, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

British and Australian oil firms signed an agreement Monday with Jordan's Natural Resources Authority to search for oil and gas in the northern part of the country, the British embassy and officials said Monday. 

 

"UK's Star Petroleum in alliance with Black Rock Petroleum of Australia signed a memorandum of understanding with the Natural Resources Authority to carry out exploration for oil and gas in northern Jordan," the embassy said. 

 

A statement said the project would last 12 to 18 months and if tests proved positive the two firms would link up with an international petroleum company for a production sharing agreement with Jordan. 

Maan al-Hiyari, director of the Natural Resources Authority, said the agreement was signed as part of instructions by Jordan's King Abdullah II to tap the kingdom for local energy sources. 

 

Jordan depends totally on Iraq for oil supplies -- exporting 4.8 million tonnes annually -- although Jordan is estimated to have 40 billion tonnes of shale oil that could yield up to four billion tonnes of crude. 

Experts believe Jordan also has up to 400 billion cubic feet (12 billion cubic meters) of natural gas, which was first discovered in 1987. 

 

Jordan is also said to be negotiating a multibillion-dollar oil extraction project with Canada, a world leader in land-based oil industries. 

 

The Natural Resources Authority also has had a deal since 1997 with a US firm, Trans Global, to drill for oil in the Dead Sea region. – (AFP) 

 

© Agence France Presse 2000 

 

© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)

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