​Gov’t, private company sign deal for exploiting oil shale in Karak

A undated photo of the risha Gas fieldRisha field
(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources and Al-Majarrah for Oil Shale and Natural Resources on Monday signed a memorandum of understanding to exploit oil shale on a 15-square-kilometer plot of land in the southern Al-Lajjun area of Karak governorate, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.اضافة اعلان

Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Saleh Kharabsheh and Al-Majarrah Director-General Imad Fakhoury signed the deal in the presence of a number of ministry officials, the company's chairman Louie Oumeish, and its board members Samir Ayyash and Mohammad Al-Zoubi.

Oil shale, a sedimentary rock, releases a liquid known as shale oil, which is similar to petroleum and can be refined into various substances, including diesel fuel, gasoline, and liquid petroleum gas, according to National Geographic.

Some estimates put the volume of Jordan’s oil shale deposits at 70 billion tonnes, spread across 60 percent of the Kingdom’s total area.  

The processUnder the newly signed memorandum, the company will carry out an exploratory program lasting two years in the Lajjun region over a land area of 15 square kilometers. Following this stage, it will present an economic feasibility study for exploiting oil shale via distillation technology in cooperation with the international company Enefit.
Some estimates put the volume of Jordan’s oil shale deposits at 70 billion tonnes, spread across 60 percent of the Kingdom’s total area.
A production sharing agreement will be signed after the feasibility studies are completed, Fakhoury said, emphasizing the project's significance in creating new employment opportunities for skilled Jordanians.

Sector opportunitiesKharabsheh also highlighted the significance of the deal, and noted that the ministry is placing a heightened emphasis on mineral resources because of the role they play in creating economic value and increasing employment opportunities in the exploration and mining sectors.

He emphasized the need for Al-Majarrah to begin working “as soon as possible” in order to generate results that can feed into the project's subsequent phases.

Jordan's mining industry is experiencing a "quantum leap" after signing seven memoranda in 2022 focusing on manufacturing industries to establish Jordan as a major player in the regional and global mining industry, according to Kharabsheh.

The Economic Modernization Vision defined the sector as having a high industrial value, the minister said, highlighting that efforts are underway to double the sector's contribution to the GDP. The deal signed on Monday, he added, is consistent with these efforts.

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