House Energy committee rescinds oil shale concession deal

Lower House’s Energy and Mineral Resources Committee
(Photo: Petra)
AMMAN — The Lower House’s Energy and Mineral Resources Committee approved a bill revoking the oil shale concession agreement signed by the Jordanian government, represented by the Natural Resources Authority and Jordan Oil Shale Company (JOSCO) for 2022.اضافة اعلان

The move came during a committee meeting on Wednesday, which was chaired by MP Talal Ensour.

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Al-Kharabsheh said during the meeting that the revocation is due to JOSCO saying that the pilot project — which was based on heating oil shale at a depth of hundreds of meters to turn it into oil — was “useless”.

Kharabsheh added that the government did not incur any financial obligations due to the revocation, adding that JOSCO has spent about JD280 million in drilling 250 wells.

The sulfur and carbon content in Jordanian oil shale is "high”, said JOSCO, and thus investment in the project is "unfeasible”, added Kharabsheh.

Given the expiration of the notice period, the concession agreement is legally terminated, seeing as JOSCO concluded its oil concession activities, which were signed between the company and the government, said Kharabsheh.

Articles 4/8 and 2 of the agreement granted JOSCO the power to terminate the agreement 12 months after the evaluation period and before the launch of the pilot, under the stipulation that the company gives 90 days’ notice to the government, he said.

Stressing the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resource’s interest in Jordan's mining sector, Kharabsheh said that since the beginning of 2022, the ministry has signed seven memoranda of understanding to explore several minerals.

The ministry, he said, is in the process of inking more agreements.

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