Jordan signs first oil production sharing agreement in eight years

Published November 24th, 2005 - 08:45 GMT

Sonoran Energy, Inc. on Wednesday announced that the Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) between the Natural Resources Authority (NRA) of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and Sonoran Energy was officially signed by Jordan's Minister for Energy and Natural Resources and President of the Natural Resources Authority Azmi Khreisat and Mr. Ala Nuseibeh, Executive Vice President, Middle East Operations on Sonoran's behalf. The official signing of the PSA took place at the offices of the Natural Resources Authority in Amman and was attended by several members of the Jordanian Cabinet, Government officials, individuals from the local business and finance community, and the US Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission Mr. Daniel Rubinstein and his economic councilors."


The Agreement between the NRA and Sonoran Energy is the first PSA signed by Jordan in over eight years", said Dr. Maher Hijazin, Director General of the National Resources Authority of Jordan. "The government has placed the development of indigenous energy resources as a high priority on the national agenda. With rising oil prices and the fact that Jordan imports 97% of its energy needs, Jordan is looking for ways to start building its internal reserves to become less dependent on foreign oil imports. We are hoping the PSA with Sonoran Energy will partially contribute to the solution to this challenge."


Under the PSA, Sonoran Energy has an agreement to explore and develop the approximately 11,250 sq. km Azraq Block located directly east of Jordan's capital city of Amman. In addition to the exploration and development program, Sonoran Energy will also take over operation of the existing producing wells in the Azraq Block's Hamzah oil field.


"We are extremely pleased to be partnering with the Government of Jordan for this very important milestone in the Country's economic development," said Peter Rosenthal, Sonoran Energy President and Chief Executive Officer. "With this agreement we are taking a significant step towards delivering on our strategy to drive growth through high value oil and gas opportunities, and Sonoran Energy is proud to be part of the program to increase Jordan's domestic oil production."


Ala Nuseibeh, Executive Vice President Middle East Operations for Sonoran Energy commented, "Working with the Ministry and the NRA has been a real pleasure and I would like to thank them for all the support they have provided us. I look forward in making this project a real success together with them. We believe strongly that the Azraq Block is under-explored, and that with modern exploration and development techniques existing production on the field can be increased. Sonoran Energy also believes that there is good potential for new discoveries that could significantly boost production within the Block."


Sonoran Energy will commence an aggressive evaluation program focusing both on exploration and the potential to boost production from the existing wells and facilities. This program will involve the acquisition of 3D seismic data and the drilling of two exploration wells in addition to a number of technical studies.


The Azraq Block, which contains the Hamzah oil field, has been producing since 1985. The Hamzah field lies in the eastern part of the Block bordering Saudi Arabia and containing the Azraq-Sirhan Graben, which is mature for oil generation.


The primary reservoir in the field is a fractured carbonate that has been produced through a limited number of vertical wells. The last well on the field was drilled in 1989 on 2D seismic data. At one stage the field was flowing over 400 barrels of oil per day (bopd) but it is now producing around 30-40 bopd. Since its discovery in 1984, total oil production from Hamzah is just under 1 million barrels of sweet oil. This oil is currently transported by truck to a refinery on the outskirts of Amman.

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