Jordanian National Petroleum Company and IPG, a UK-based company, signed a production sharing agreement to explore for oil and gas in the eastern parts of the Middle Eastern kingdom, The Jordan Times informed.

Under the deal, IPG will work on increasing output from Al Risheh gas field to reach around 50mcf/d during the first year of the contract, up from the current gas output around 12-13mcf/d. The deal has been signed for four years with a possible extension of one year. IPG will spend around $100m on the project over the next four years, according to Qutaiba Abu Qura, Chairman of the National Petroleum Company.

“This is a very important agreement for Jordan to increase production from Al Risheh gas field and explore for oil and gas in Al Safawi area,” Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ibrahim Saif, said at a press conference to sign the deal, as Pipeline Oil&Gas Magazine reported.

Egyptian investor and owner of IPG, Yehya Al Koumi, whose company was granted concession rights to in Al Risheh gas field and Al Safawi area near the borders with Iraq, said the company enjoys international expertise. Koumi said that the company hopes “that after the four years, we will be able to increase gas output to 300mcf/d.” However, Abu Qura specified that Jordan needs around 400-450mcf/d of gas.

Jordan, which imports about 97% of its energy needs annually, incurred losses worth billions of dinars due to repeated cuts in natural gas supplies from Egypt, wrote Al Bawaba.