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JOSCO Enters the Second Phase of its Oil Shale Development in Jordan

In Amman, Jordan - The Jordan Oil Shale Company (JOSCO) has commenced the initial appraisal phase, the second phase of its aspired long term presence in Jordan on 16th May 2013. This is a milestone achievement for JOSCO’s journey as it is the second phase of a number of pre-defined phases aimed at gradually answering questions potentially vital to the success of a full-scale commercial project in the future.

JOSCO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell plc, signed an Oil Shale Concession Agreement (OSCA) in 2009 with the Jordanian Government to evaluate the commercial potential of the deeper layers of Jordanian oil shale. JOSCO will explore a large concession area of (22,270 km2) which will provide the government with a wealth of information on the gathered data of the concession area.

JOSCO commenced operations in 2009 during which oil shale samples from drilled cores were analyzed for subsurface modeling of the concession area, a quarter of Jordan’s landscape. JOSCO has drilled a significant number of wells, while processing and analyzing over120,000 samples. Currently, JOSCO has dedicated mobile drilling rigs for its ongoing exploration activities, an unrivaled geochemical laboratory which is run by a team of Jordanian experts, and an office location in Amman.

During the Appraise Phase, JOSCO will conduct further appraisal drilling, logging operations, and hydrology testing of the concession area. Geochemical analysis of drilled samples and the Jordan Field Experiment (JFE) will also be conducted to test Shell’s In Situ Conversion Process (ICP) technology in Jordan. A successful outcome of this field experiment will be critical to the decision to progress into the pilot phase, which will utilize Shell’s ICP technology.

JOSCO took the decision to develop Jordanian talent and has created over 210 jobs which were 95% occupied by Jordanians. The company has further been working with local contractors, suppliers, and with local communities. JOSCO has also been running sustainable development projects in the Kingdom with credible partners such as: the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, the Hashemite Fund for Development of Jordanian Badia, and the Traffic Police Department.

The OSCA agreement signed between the Jordanian government and JOSCO is aligned with Jordan’s energy master plan that includes the development of the country’s indigenous oil shale resources. Once all phases have been achieved, a decision to proceed with a commercial project will be decided in the late 2020’s. JOSCO is looking forward to play a sustainable role in facing Jordan's energy challenge and building a responsible energy future.

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