Oil Shale Retorting

Oil Shale Retorting Project:

Al Qamer for Energy and Infrastructure signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in November 2014 with the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources with the approval of the Jordan Cabinet setting aside a block underlain by oil shale for exploitation by Al Qamer. The area of the block is 64.3 sq. Km and Al Qamer start to exploit the southwest corner of it with an area of 18.3 sq. Km.

  • The area for Retorting Project segment is 41.3 Sq.km. MOU is located in a region home to the second richest  Oil Shale deposits in Jordan.
  • Geological reserves about  2.9 Billion tons of oil shale, enough to support the retorting project rated 89,071 bbl / per day for 30 years.
  • Proven reserves about  1.6 Billion tons of oil shale in Cut-off grade 9%.
  • 110 km South of Amman (capital city of Jordan).
  • Easily accessible via a paved road from the main desert highway between Amman and Aqaba.
  • Neighboring blocks being explored by major oil shale companies such as Enefit, Shell, SACOS, BP, etc.

Main products are Oil, Gas, Electricity, and Petrochemicals which have economic value and used in many industries.

· Retort Plants – ATP ((Alberta Taciuk Process)).

· First phase two units (one module).

  • 36 Borewells were drilled (Drilling: Core Drilling and Cut Drilling).
  • 3 Boreholes were done by Core drilling to access the Physical Characteristics of all deposited layers including oil Shale.

· The borehole analysis results are:

  • Oil Content ranges between 8.5% to 14%.
  • The oil shale calorific value is 1269.39 - 2544  Kcal/Kg
  • Average Stripping Ratio is 1:1.


· Main products will be from Dec 2023 are:

1. Shale oil (shale oil serves best for producing middle-distillates such as Diesel, Heavy Fuel, Jet fuel and Kerosene).

2. Petrochemicals (Thiophen, Benzene, Toluene,Ichtyol, Souftener and others).

3. Electricity.

4. Ash which is used for cement and tiles production.

The exploration work status (Jan. 2018) is as follows:

   A. Completed work                                                    

B. Underway work

The exploration work status (May 2017) is as follows:

   C. Detailed project report (DPR)  








Oil Shale Retorting Project: (ATP-UMATAC Company ) 

• UMATAC Industrial Processes develops and provides the ATP technology. Located in Calgary, Alberta, UMATAC operates an engineering office, a research laboratory and pilot scale demonstrator ATP plant to support continued development of the technology as well as to investigate new applications for processing candidate feed materials.

  • Technology Access Agreement signed with ATP ((The Alberta Taciuk Process ))
  • ATP  (UMATAC Company ((Canada)) ) will carried out following studies for us
  • Oil Shale Processing Engineering: Technological Analyses (Yield of Oil, Gas, Semi – Coke, Ash, Pytogenetic Water by Fischer Assay Calorific Value, ATP bench scale tests for selected representative samples, Shale Oil Processing Engineering, Infrastructure Engineering, Power Plant and Supplies Engineering, and Economic Analyses.




 Drying, retorting, combustion and cooling are accomplished in single rotating machine, simplifying hot solids material handling & transport

  Jordanian Oil Shale - ATP Testing

 Ore bodies/sample locations

  • Al Lajjun
  • Attarat am Ghudran
  • Isfir Al-Mahata

Sample types 

  • Cores
  • Outcrops
  • Bulk samples
  • Testing
  • Modified Fisher Assay.
  • Crushing, material handling, geotechnical.
  • Batch pyrolysis, small scale continuous.
  • ATP & hydrotreating pilot testing.
  • Spent shale - cement feedstock testing.
  • Combustion testing.
  • Material attrition.       

Jordanian Oil Shale - ATP Pilot Testing


Al Lajjun ore ATP

Pilot tested in 1998, 1999, 2006, and 2009

Net Yield from Oil Shale

  • C4+ Oil 11.4%
  • C3- Gas 3.1%
  • Coke 8.5%


  • Ash leachate
  • Emissions
  • Water

Test Achievements

  • 360 tonne ore sample
  • Fuel self sufficient
  • On-spec oil products


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