Petrobras eyes oil in Jordanian shales

Petroleo Brasilerio signed a memorandum of understanding with Jordan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to study the viability of Petrobras's patented Petrosix mining technology at the Attarat Umm Ghudran oil shale deposit 50 miles south of Amman.

By OGJ editors
HOUSTON, Feb. 23 -- Brazil's state Petroleo Brasilerio signed a memorandum of understanding with Jordan's Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources to study the technical and economic viability of Petrobras's patented Petrosix mining technology at the Attarat Umm Ghudran (AUG) oil shale deposit 50 miles south of Amman.

Petrobras international and downstream representatives will conduct the 24-month study, which covers 11 sq km Block AUG 21. Jordan's Natural Resources Authority estimated that the block has a potential of 1.7 billion bbl of oil.

Cretaceous shales in the entire 348 sq km AUG deposit average 70 m thick with 45-62 m of overburden, a Jordanian report said.

Petrobras mines oil from Permian Irati shale using the Petrosix process at Sao Mateus do Sul in Parana State. Production averaged 4,200 b/d in 2006 (OGJ, June 12, 2006, p. 37). The Irati formation bituminous shales cover parts of Sao Paolo, Parana, Santa Catarina, Rio Grande do Sul, Mato Grosso, and Goias states.

As oil prices have remained relatively high in recent years, Jordan, Morocco, the US, and China have contacted Petrobras to discuss shale oil production partnerships, Petrobras said. Jordan has numerous shale deposits but no commercial shale oil production.

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