Jordan in talks with Qatar to import natural gas
CITY JORDAN will soon award a longawaited $4 billion-$5 billion deal to build a 1,000 megawatt nuclear power plant, the first such project in the kingdom, a senior Energy Ministry official said on Wednesday.
Mahmoud al Ees, head of the Energy Ministry’s planning department, also said that Jordan is talking to Qatar and Iraq to replace interrupted natural gas supplies from Egypt.
The kingdom received last year three offers from France’s Areva in partnership with Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation, Russia’s Atomstroyexport and Atomic Energy of Canada to build the nuclear power station. The deal was supposed to have been awarded last year, but has been delayed for unknown reasons.
Jordan used to import around 240 million cubic feet of natural gas daily from Egypt, but the pipeline has been bombed 13 times since the beginning of the uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
Jordan is planning to build either a floating liquefied natural gas terminal near Aqaba port, or hire a floating ship in order to import national gas from anywhere, Ees told Dow Jones Newswires on the sidelines of an International Energy summit being held here.
Ees said that in order to meet the kingdom’s energy needs, Jordan’s crude oil and gas imports cost $5.6 billion in 2011.
This year’s bill is expected to go beyond that as oil prices are rocketing.
UK supergiant BP will next month drill the first well in Risha gas field, near Jordan’s border with Iraq, Ees said.
Under the deal signed in October 2009, BP is to undertake to spend $237 million during the first phase on exploration and evaluation, including 3D seismic surveys, drilling of wells and studies.
The first phase will last three years. Under the second phase, BP is expected to invest between $8-$10 billion to develop the field to reach a production level of 300 million cubic feet a day and more.