(MENAFN) Jordan is seeking to reach self-sufficient in energy by 2020 through developing gas and oil shale projects as well as renewable schemes, Reuters reported.
Energy Minister Alaa Batayneh said "Jordan is literally unexplored in a way that gives us a lot of hope". He added "We have a lot of indigenous national resources that we are trying to move."
Batayneh also said "We are pushing literally in every direction and the aim is to become reliant on national unexplored resources and become self-reliant by 2020 at least".
These include USD300 million solar and wind energy projects, some financed under a USD5 billion Gulf fund, Batayneh said.
But Jordan is aiming at exploiting an estimated 70 billion tonnes of shale oil deposits that would rank the Kingdom sixth or seventh in global reserves and gas in the eastern Risha field being explored by BP that could yield up to 1 billion cubic feet per day, Batayneh said.
Jordan, which imports almost all its energy needs, is struggling with energy bills, after a plunge in cheap Egyptian gas supplies on which it relied for 80 percent of its 3,000 megawatt electricity generation.
Its annual energy bill has soared past USD4 billion as it was forced to buy expensive diesel and heavy fuel on international markets.
The Kingdom is now struggling to meet electricity demand, which is growing by more than 7 percent per year, due to a rising population and industrial expansion.