Jordan has signed an initial agreement with the British company Shell for exploration of oil and gas fields in the Sarkhan basin in the northeast of the Kingdom, the country's Energy and Natural Resources Ministry said, Trend news agency reported.
Under the agreement, the company will hold study of the Sarkhan basin, which covers an area of 20,000 square kilometers.
Exploration work will begin in the first months of next year, the ministry said.
Previously, Shell and Jordan signed an agreement on shale gas production in the territory of the country.
Jordan covers about 80 per cent of its gas needs through imports from Egypt. According to official data, the loss to Jordan due to short supply of Egyptian gas is about $1 billion per year, but in reality the losses can be much higher, Jordanian Senate member Mustafa Fayyad told Trend earlier.
Since the beginning of November, mass demonstrations are underway in Jordan in connection with up to 50-percent increase in fuel prices because of growing state budget deficit of the country, which hits $7.7 billion.