BP starts drilling in Jordan's Risha gas field

British_Petroleum2_comBritish Petroleum (BP) has started drilling the first well in its concession in the Risha natural gas field in eastern Jordan

The oil and gas giant said it would take up to four months to complete the exploration and added that a number of international oil and gas service contractors, as well as local firms, would also be involved.

"The drilling follows two years of preparation and a very successful 5,000 sq km seismic acquisition programme in 2011," BP stated.

According to the company, the seismic survey was one of the largest ever acquired in the Middle East and one of the safest and highest-productivity surveys acquired in its history.

It has been expected that BP would enter a second phase where it would invest billions of dollars in developing the Risha gas field if the exploration leads to the discovery of large, commercially-viable reserves of natural gas.

In 2009, Jordan had given BP up to four years to spend at least US$237 million to explore and evaluate the Risha block.

The country had hoped that intensive exploration and drilling at Risha gas field would lead to the discovery of extensive recoverable gas reserves, which would help decrease its dependence on oil imports.

Government analysts expect the gas field, which currently has a modest output of about 18 million cubic feet per day, to produce 330 million cubic feet of gas per day by 2015.

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