Jordan’s Natural Resources Authority (NRA) said that the closing date for submission of bids for oil exploration blocks by international and regional companies in the northern and central regions of the Kingdom has ended.

The cut-off date was extended from May to July after requests fromsome international companies that showed continued interest in bidding for the blocks.

“In the oil business, these companies needed three to four months to study and evaluate [the blocks] before deciding to submit or not,” NRA director Maher Hijazin told The Jordan Times.

Two blocks included in the bidding round are the Northern Highlands, a 7,454km² region along the country’s northern border with Syria, and the Al Jafr block in the central region, a 19,156km² plot east of the Jordan River.

In 1959 and then 1991, NRA, along with Pauly and Total, drilled seven exploration wells in the Northern Highlands block, while Hunt Oil Company has drilled two wells in the Al Jafr region in 1989.

The companies did not yield productive oil discoveries.

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By GlobalData

PETREL is drilling in the eastern Safawi block, Global Petroleum in the western Safawi block in the north-east of the country, Sonoran in the Azraq block, Universal Energy in the Sirhan block to the south-east, and independent company Porosity is exploring the Dead Sea block.