Jordan reaches agreement to diversify sources of natural gas

A undated photo of the risha Gas fieldRisha field
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Al-Kharabsheh said that Jordan has reached agreements on diversifying sources of natural gas, and long-term natural gas supplies, Al-Ghad News reported.اضافة اعلان

He said that current supply contracts saved the treasury $1.2 billion during the first nine months of this year.

The comments came in a lecture on Tuesday to students in the 20th National Defense Course at the Royal Jordanian National Defense College, entitled: “The Energy Sector Strategy for the years 2020–2030”.

The lecture was attended by the college’s commander, Brig. Gen. Azzam Al-Rawahneh, and the head and members of the steering committee.

The minister stressed that the policy of diversifying the sources of natural gas supplies, and the long-term natural gas supply agreements protect the National Electric Power Company  from raising global LNG prices.

On the ministry’s role in promoting local energy sources in the total energy mix, Kharabsheh said that Jordan is one of the leading countries in the development of renewable energy in the region, as it currently produces about 29 percent of the electricity generated in the country from renewable energy sources, and seeks to reach 50 percent by 2030.

He explained that the total installed capacity of electric power generation projects from renewable energy sources amounted to about 2,526 megawatts at the end of last July, contributing to 29 percent of the electrical energy generated since the beginning of 2022, compared with about 26 percent during 2021.

Kharabsheh pointed out that the energy generated from the total installed capacity of renewable energy projects amounted to 5.5TWh at the end of 2021, and thus Jordan ranks first in the Arab world in the ratio of the installed capacity of renewable energy sources without calculating hydropower, and third after Egypt and Morocco in the amount of produced energy.

He stressed that the Ministry of Energy’s endeavor is to increase this share to 50 percent by 2030, and for Jordan to become a regional center for green energy production by taking advantage of the abundance of renewable energy sources, and Jordan’s central location in the Middle East.

He said that the Ministry of Energy’s direction for the coming period includes realizing the natural gas distribution project in major cities, and distributing about 90,000 solar heaters, indicating that this direction also includes improving the efficiency of energy consumption in all sectors by 9 percent.

With regard to oil exploration in the Sarhan field, Kharabsheh said that a Saudi-American consortium has submitted proposals to work in the field, and a memorandum of understanding will be signed after obtaining the necessary approvals.

He maintained that work is underway to drill three new wells, purchase an advanced excavator, and process and analyze seismic surveys.

Regarding work in the Hamza oil field, Kharabsheh said that work is underway to develop the field by drilling three new wells, developing a dynamic model for data analysis to determine the reserves, in addition to reprocessing three-dimensional seismic surveys, preparing geological and geophysical studies and identifying new drilling sites.

On gas exploration, he said that efforts are continuing to develop the Risha gas field by raising the capacity from the current 30 million cubic feet to about 50 million cubic feet in 2025, and reaching a production capacity of about 200 million cubic feet per day in 2030.

On marketing gas produced from the Risha field, Kharabsheh said that several companies have submitted letters of intent, expressing their interest to invest in the distribution of compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas.

He pointed out that the Ministry of Energy is currently studying the activity of distributing compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas, and determining the fair commission for interested companies. By investing in compressed, and liquefied gas distribution activities, it is expected that the study will be completed in the near future.

On the development of the oil and gas derivatives’ market, he said that necessary procedures have been undertaken to pave the way for licensing two new marketing companies, while a study is underway to establish a specialized Jordanian natural gas company that will be responsible for natural gas contracts from NEPCO, and is preparing regulatory rules that allow the third party to use the structure.

On supplying industries with gas, Kharabsheh said that a mechanism was agreed upon to implement the infrastructure required to deliver natural gas to industries from the main natural gas pipeline to the factory site through direct contracting between the final consumer and contractors.

On domestic gas, he said that a study is currently underway to map out a national program in cooperation with the Ministry of Finance to support the delivery of natural gas to cities and industrial clusters, and an economic feasibility study is being conducted for a project to establish natural gas distribution networks in Amman and Zarqa.

He said that the Ministry of Energy is currently reviewing oil and natural gas legislation, as the priority of its work is the initiative to “review the pricing mechanism of petroleum derivatives to encourage a healthy environment for markets, including setting price ceilings and providing opportunities for competition in the market.”

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