AMMAN, Jordan, May 17 (UPI) -- The Jordanian government is putting a high priority on drawing investors into its emerging energy sector, the country's prime minister said.
Abdullah Ensour told delegates gathered for the second annual summit in Amman the government is working to create incentives for foreign energy sector investments.
"Jordan attaches considerable importance to the development of the energy sector, because of its impact on spurring economic growth, achieving sustainable development and improving living standards in the Kingdom," he was quoted by the official Jordanian News Agency as saying.
Ensour on the sidelines of the summit signed agreements to work more closely with counterparts in the Algerian, Egyptian and Palestinian markets. So far, investments in the shale oil industry are estimated at about $1.6 billion, the minister said.
The Jordanian government says it estimates it holds about 34 billion barrels of shale oil. In the past, the government had explored the potential to build an oil pipeline from Iraq that would be able to deliver about 1 million barrels of oil to the Jordanian coastal city of Aqaba by 2018.
Ensour said the government needs to build a stronger energy sector in order to reduce an energy import bill that came in at around $2.5 billion last year.