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Oil Opportunities in Jordan

Researches & Papers, Mines & Mining Engineering


Several oil companies started work in the exploration for Petroleum in Jordan. Between 1922 and 1947, sporadic studies were made of the petroleum possibilities of Trans- Jordan, as it was then known. Between 1947 and 1949, the first comprehensive geological studies for petroleum exploration took place, and were carried out by Petroleum Development (Trans_ Jordan) Ltd (a subsidiary of the Iraq Petroleum company). However the company surrendered the concession in 1949 without any drilling. Between 1949 and 1978 , different oil companies worked in Jordan , and drilled several wells , part of it in West Bank , Which showed weak oil and gas shows , the others are in (Wadi Azraq / Sirhan ) , one well in Wadi Rajil which is ( Wadi Rajil _ 1) encountered good to strong oil shows . Most other exploration wells and stratigraphic tests since 1972 have been drilled by Natural Resources Authority of Jordan (NRA) which resulted in the discovery of the small Cretaceous reservoir in the Hamzeh oilfield, and the Risha (Ordovician reservoir) gas field, both of which are in production. In 1985, oil Companies renewed their interest in Jordan. Mean while (NRA) continued to drill well clusters around its discovery area in Risha and around the Wadi Sirhan of light oil API gravity which tested from Ordivician clastics. It can be concluded that Jordan is still poorly explored.


Azraq basin consists of several geological structures, the Azraq area which is under study is approximately "1500" square kilometers, and about "33" wells have been drilled in different structures in this area. The study which prepared for NRA with a cost of about USD (2) millions, evaluated the hydrocarbon potential in the area. The study indicated that an estimated of about (430) million barrels of oil have been generated from the WS-2 member in the Azraq area. The Hamzeh field contains stock tank oil in place ranging between (15.222.5) million STBO. While (NPC) produced not more than (1) million barrel of oil since 1988. Two heavy oil wells have been drilled in the area, the data obtained about these two wells indicates the presence of a vast amount of heavy oil and asphalt which could obtain crude oil by converting it by technical methods. Some wells drilled in other structures in this area, data obtained showed the presence of (good-strong) oil shows. The Dead Sea area is about (3750)square kilometers, many oil seeps are available in Dead Sea area, most of the oil fields in the world had been explored or discovered through the seeps around it, again I would say that the Dead Sea is wealthy by seeps. Significant oil seep in Wadi Asal, south of Lisan peninsula on the eastern side of the Dead Sea, another historic seep at Ain-Hummar which is (5) Km south of Wadi Mujib to the north of the Lisan Peninsula, it was described In 1939. A core-hole drilling program in the area produced samples with an average organic carbon content (TOC) over 10%. One of the wells which had been drilled in Wadi Sirhan area gave us the best quality of oil (sweet oil) with a gravity of (43°) API. Other (5) blocks in Jordan that we can work on it for oil exploration are: East Safawi Block, West Safawi Block, North Jordan Block, Jafr-Central Jordan Block, and Wadi Sirhan Block.


1. Two major source-rock levels are widely distributed across Jordan. The first is represented by the shale’s of the lower Silurian Mudawarra Formation, and WS-2 member which are present in an eastwards–thickening and deepening belt from the SW to the NE of Jordan, occurring widely in the eastern part of the country beneath younger sediments, and continuing into NW Saudi Arabia and western Iraq. These deposits are generally immature in the SW, but reach high maturity in the NE. as in Akkar in western Iraq, Risha Gas Field, and Hamzeh Oil Field. The Second major source–rock level is represented by the argillaceous carbonates of the Muwaqqar (Ghareb) formation, which crops-out over much of Jordan. These deposits are mostly immature, but where they are deeply buried (such as in the Dead Sea graben) or the deepest part of the Azraq graben, sufficient maturation has been achieved for the generation of oil. 2. An estimated 430 million barrels of oil have been generated from the WS-2 member in the Azraq Area. 3. Hamzeh field contains oil in place values ranging between (15.2- 2.5) million STBO. 4. Due to the economic conditions to date, secondary recovery operations are marginally attractive. 5. There is a vast amount of heavy oil which could be converted to movable oil. 6. Hamzeh field has no serious work over program since 1980s. 7. Jordan is still poorly explored.


Zuhair O. AlSadiq, Petroleum geologist & drilling consultant Dijla Energy Services, trading as ENRAQ Zuhair- sadiq@Hotmail.com

A comprehensive overview about the reality of investment in the mining sector of Aggregates in Jordan

Researches & Papers, Mines & Mining Engineering



It is impossible to construct a city without using natural aggregate sand, gravel and crushed stone. The amount of these essential construction materials we use each year is likely to surprise you. Annual production of aggregate worldwide totals about 16.5 billion tons (15 billion metric tons). This staggering volume valued at more than $70 billion makes aggregate production one of the most important mining industries in the world. In view of the urban and infrastructure development and the package of tax exemptions on the property during the past years as well as banking facilities and political reasons experienced by the region, which led to the influx of a large number of displaced people to this hospitable country, which increases demand for residential buildings in particular and the accompanying Which leads to an increase in the demand for the production of aggregates as the volume of investment in the housing sector increased. Although potential sources of sand, gravel, and crushed stone are widespread and large, land-use choices, economic considerations, and environmental concerns may limit their availability. Making aggregate resources available for our country’s increasing needs will be an ongoing challenge. Understanding how aggregates are produced and how the related environmental impacts are prevented or mitigated can help citizens, communities, and our nation meet this challenge. Given the right information and access to suitable resources in appropriate geologic settings, aggregate producers can meet the nations demand for aggregate without causing undue harm to the environment.


The best methods of mining are to control the depth of the blast wells in accordance with the quality of the rock layers and to oblige the quarry owners to remove the soft layers, including the soil cover above the rock layers and to reuse it in the landfill and rehabilitation. - To find alternative areas for the production of limestone aggregates with good specifications and to work on diversifying the sources of aggregates to include (granite, basalt , natural aggregates of floodwaters and valleys), which are available in many areas of the Kingdom. Activation of article 8 paragraph (a) of the quarry system and address the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Municipal Affairs, the Amman Municipality and the armed forces not to submit any tender without presenting a document proving that the bidder uses materials from licensed quarries. The owner of the licensed base coarse crusher must have a steel plate with dimensions (1.5-1), indicated by the required instructions, in addition to the phrase - the aggregate is not suitable for the concrete . Coordinate with the authority of the Aqaba Region for the necessity of supervising the on all quarries operating in the Governorate of Aqaba license and control according to the law of natural resources no. (12) 1968 in the Kingdom. Addressing the Amman Municipality to form a joint committee to solve the problem of road belt crushers, which have been operating for more than eight years without any actual control over the quality of the aggregates. - The need to sort the aggregates within the crusher yards by size and not to sell the mixed aggregates. -Work on the appointment of engineers and geologists specialized in the crushers, whose daily production exceeds 600 m 3 for actual supervision and help to improve the quality of the produced materials. -Encouraging researches and innovations related to improving the quality of Aggregates ,finding alternative places for extraction, preserving the environment and rehabilitation.


Heba Naser

Review of 50 years geotechnical studies at Amman-Jarash Highway landslides in Jordan

Researches & Papers, Mines & Mining Engineering



Landslides in Jordan caused many problems during the last 50 years which causes the loss of millions of Jordanian Dinars in addition to the waist of efforts and times for the government. The review of Amman-Jarash Highway landslides defined the main causes of landslides and rock mass movement. Previous works of geotechnical studies are summarized, and stability measures are discussed and analyzed to establish solution and recommendations. The present study aims to convert the dangerous areas to green areas and the needs for annual maintenance to the drainage system along the highway before the winter season. In addition to concrete injection in unstable areas along the highway and construct emergency road to the east parallel to the highway particularly from Zarqa river bridge to the bridge of Jerash entrance due to presence of geodynamic activity which leads to landslides. Moreover, construct gabions in weak and unstable area along the high way to protect the area from mass rock movements and rockfall. Finally, annually evaluation highly is needed to the highway by competent and experience geological engineers as they are specialists.



Nasser Al- Nawasreh, Arabilla Center for Engineering studies