Jordan: Zarqa Expansion

Jordan finally appears to be moving forward with the $1.6bn expansion of its sole refinery at Zarqa, 35km northeast of Amman. US process engineering firm Honeywell UOP this week signed a deal with the Jordan Petroleum Refinery Company (JPRC) to provide technology and services for the expansion to 120,000 b/d from the current 70,000 b/d.

Jordan is heavily reliant on products imports. Zarqa output has averaged 65,000 b/d in recent years (see chart). Demand has been more than double this with JPRC CEO ‘Abd al- Karim al-‘Alawin pegging expected future demand growth at 3%/year.

That said, according to Jordan’s official stats, oil demand fell from a peak of 155,000 b/d in 2014 to a five-year low of 133,000 b/d for 2015, an unlikely outcome given the country’s rising population. One possible explanation is that ‘official’ supplies are being augmented by smuggled products from neighboring Iraq. (CONTINUED - 298 WORDS)


chart Jordan Oil Products Balance (‘000 B/D)