CRA International, a worldwide leader in providing management, economic, and financial consulting services, announced that the Company advised the government of Jordan in the structuring and negotiation of an oil shale concession agreement that will allow Enefit, an affiliate of Eesti Energia AS, to explore and develop oil shale resources in Jordan. Enefit is the largest oil shale to energy company in the world and has almost 90 years of oil shale experience in Estonia.
The concession agreement with Enefit, which was signed in Amman on May 11, 2010, provides the framework for the establishment of a Jordanian oil shale industry, including fiscal regime and environmental regulation. Under terms of the agreement, Enefit will conduct geological and hydrogeological studies of Jordan’s oil shale resources and undertake an environmental impact assessment of its oil shale processing technology. Within four years, Enefit will decide whether to continue with the project development and begin the construction of an industrial complex. Enefit may use Jordan’s oil shale resources for up to 40 years, with an optional 10-year extension.
CRA provided commercial advice to the government of Jordan to develop an effective deal structure which is sustainable throughout the duration of the concession agreement. The advice focused on promoting successful resource development through effective sharing of project revenue and management as well as mitigation of project risks. This is the second oil shale agreement in which CRA has been an advisor; in May 2009, CRA announced its role in advising Jordan on an oil shale concession agreement granted to Royal Dutch Shell plc.
"CRA has a long and distinguished track record in consulting assignments for the exploration and development of natural resources throughout the Middle East," said CRA’s President and Chief Executive Officer Paul Maleh. "This concession agreement will potentially lead to the world’s first large, commercial-scale oil shale development. We are pleased to have been able to offer the expertise of our consultants to help the government of Jordan broker another agreement pertaining to the sustainable development of its natural resources."
Dr. Maher Hijazin, the Director General of The Natural Resources Authority, added, "The oil shale deposits are strategically important to Jordan’s national energy policy. Through this concession, we have put in place the framework for future development of the oil shale industry. We have strived to balance the benefits from commercial exploration of Jordan’s natural resources with the need to ensure that the projects are conducted in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner."
CRA worked in partnership with Trowers & Hamlins on this project. Trowers & Hamlins, an international law firm with offices throughout the United Kingdom and the Middle East, served as legal advisor to the government of Jordan.
Trowers & Hamlins and CRA have worked together on several other successful assignments advising the government of Jordan. Most recently, the two firms worked on the 2009 oil shale concession agreement granted to Shell and are currently advising the government of Jordan on other oil shale agreements.