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Chinese company to explore for oil shale in central region

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jan 07,2014 - Last updated at Jan 07,2014

AMMAN — Jordan is scheduled to sign a memorandum of understanding this month with a Chinese company for the exploration and utilisation of oil shale as part of the country’s efforts to increase dependence on local energy resources.

The Natural Resources Authority (NRA) has received the Cabinet’s approval to sign the memo with China’s Fushun Mining Group Co. Ltd., NRA Director General Mousa Zyoud told The Jordan Times on Tuesday.

Under the memo, the Chinese firm will conduct geological and geophysical studies over an 87-square-kilometre area in Wadi Al Naadiyeh in the central region, Zyoud said.

“The company will also assess the available quantities of oil shale during the study period, which will last for two years,” he added.

“If the studies prove that quantities are feasible, we will start negotiations with the company to prepare for signing a commercial agreement,” Zyoud said.

The memo is part of the government’s strategy to increase the contribution of oil shale to the energy mix to 14 per cent by 2020, according to Zyoud.

Jordan, which imports about 96 per cent of its energy needs annually, has about 40 billion tonnes of oil shale reserves, the fourth largest in the world, according to the NRA.

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