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Korean firm gets approval from Jordan's Cabinet for oil development
By Byun Duk-kun
SEOUL, March 8 (Yonhap) -- A South Korean oil developer has signed an official deal with the Jordanian government to explore and develop a vast oil field in the Middle Eastern country, the company said Friday.

   The production sharing agreement (PSA) was approved by Jordan's Cabinet on Sunday, an official from the Korea Global Energy Corp. (KGEC) said.

   The agreement still needs to be ratified by Jordan's parliament.

   The Cabinet approval of the PSA came a little over a year after the South Korean company signed a memorandum of understanding with Jordan to explore a 6,819-square-kilometer area in Jordan's Wadi Araba block near the Dead Sea.

   Jordan has yet to produce any significant amount of oil, but earlier explorations by a U.S. firm had suggested the area may hold as much as 1.15 billion barrels of oil in probable, or more commonly known as P2, reserve and up to 7 billion barrels in estimated or P3 reserve.

   Under the PSA, the South Korean company will launch a fresh, four-year exploration program, and also drill three wells for oil exploration.

   However, Park Chang-sig, president of KGEC, earlier said the oil field may start commercial production as early as 2014.

   Under the production sharing deal, the South Korean company will be entitled to about half of the output from the oil field though the ratio depends on daily production, Park, who is currently in Amman, said in a telephone interview with Yonhap News Agency on Thursday.

   Apparently aware of such a large oil reserve in the area, Britain-based energy company Energi Oil joined the South Korean company late last year as what Park called a "technology partner" with a 5-percent stake.

   The 1-billion-barrels of oil reserve, if confirmed, will be the largest-ever find in Jordan.