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Jordan Calls on Companies to Express Interest in Oil Shale

Jordan wants companies to express interest in developing its oil shale resources, the director general of the kingdom’s National Resources Authority said.

“We have areas that are now open for exploration and exploitation,” Mousa Ali Alzyoud said today in an interview in the capital, Amman.

Jordan has the world’s fourth-largest reserves of oil shale, a sedimentary rock containing solid bituminous materials that are released as petroleum-like liquids when the rock is heated. Alzyoud estimated the deposits at about 40 billion metric tons.

The government is turning to oil shale as well as nuclear, solar and wind power to meet increasing electricity demand, and it hopes to attract $14 billion in investments in energy infrastructure. Officials plan to increase the share of energy generated by indigenous oil shale to 14 percent of the country’s total requirements, Alzyoud said.

“Jordan currently imports 97 percent of its energy needs, so we have a plan to diversify the sources,” he said.

The Middle East nation has signed three oil shale concessions so far, including one with Royal Dutch Shell Plc (RDSA), he said. The others are with Estonia’s Eesti Energia AS and Karak International Oil, a unit of Tunbridge Wells, England-based Jordan Energy and Mining Ltd.

To contact the reporter on this story: Nayla Razzouk in Amman at nrazzouk2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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