Jordan Energy and Environment Facts

Natural resources, energy and environment

Unlike many neighboring countries, Jordan is almost completely lacking in oil and gas resources. The country generally has its own natural resources with the exception of phosphate and potash (potassium carbonate).

Jordan is one of the world’s largest producers of phosphate, which is used, among other things, in the production of artificial fertilizers. The phosphate reserves also contain some uranium. Pot ash, for the production of soap and baking powder, is taken from the Dead Sea. There are also small resources of copper, manganese, gypsum and mineral salts.

  • COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Jordan with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.

One of Jordan’s biggest problems is the large shortage of water. Many water projects have been discussed with neighboring countries over the years, but the political unrest in the region has often been an obstacle. In 2013, however, Jordan signed an agreement with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to build an 18-mile-long pipe for desalinated water from a plant in Aqaba. It could supply all three parties with drinking water, but the realization looks distant.

To meet its energy needs, Jordan imports crude oil, previously mostly from Iraq but since the beginning of the Iraq war, mainly from Saudi Arabia. Jordan is one of the Arab countries that favors when oil prices fall.

Through a pipeline to Aqaba, Egyptian natural gas has also been received, but the political turmoil in Egypt since the Arab Spring of 2011 has led to uncertain deliveries and high prices. This, in turn, has led to major losses for the national electricity company (Nepco). In 2014, Jordan signed an agreement with Israel on imports of gas from deposits off the Israeli coast. When deliveries began at the turn of the year 2019/2020, the Jordanian parliament voted against gas imports.

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To make the country less dependent on imports and varying energy prices, the government has tried to use its own small oil and natural gas deposits. With the help of international companies such as the oil company Shell, new attempts have also been made to extract oil from domestic oil shale, although this has previously proved costly. They also invest in renewable energy such as solar and wind power. In 2018, the Ministry of Energy stated that 380 mosques and churches were equipped with solar panels over the past five years.

With Russian help, a nuclear power plant will be built in the desert north of Amman. The two reactors are scheduled to be completed by 2021.

Electricity consumption has risen sharply in recent years. Jordan is participating in a regional project to link its electricity grid with neighboring countries in order to avoid any electricity shortages in the future. However, when the global corona crisis erupted in 2020, Jordan decided to close all activities that were not considered socially important, causing energy consumption to collapse. For this reason, solar power plants were disconnected from the electricity grid, but the closure was expected to be short-lived.


Energy use per person

1 103 kilo oil equivalents (2014)

Electricity consumption per person

2243 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions in total

26 450 thousand tonnes (2014)

Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant

3.0 tons (2014)

The share of energy from renewable sources

3.2 percent (2015)



Proposals for UN resolution are voted down

Jordan, as a member of the UN Security Council 2014-2015, is presenting a motion for resolution on the end of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territories and the establishment of a Palestinian state, on behalf of the Palestinians and 22 Arab states, but the proposal is rejected.

Jordanian aircraft is shot down by IS

A Jordanian aircraft participating in an air strike against IS in Syria (see September) is shot down and the pilot is captured by IS men.

Sentenced prisoners are executed

Eleven sentenced prisoners are executed by hanging, after the government decided to re-execute the death sentences. This is the first time since 2006 that executions have been carried out.


Muslim leader arrested

Zaki Bani Irshid, the second highest leader of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, is arrested. Bani Irshid is accused of breaking the country’s anti-terror laws (which were sharpened in April). In a post on Facebook, Bani Irshid criticized the United Arab Emirates for classifying the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization.

Prison sentences against IS sympathizers

Five people are sentenced to imprisonment of between three and five years for membership in the Islamic State and for propagating the group on the Internet. In total, at least 130 people who sympathize with IS have been arrested since Jordan joined the air strikes against IS mounts in Syria in September.


Jordan supports fight against IS

Jordan, along with other states in the region, promises to support the US fight against IS (see July). The countries pledge to join the military fight against IS and to stop recruits trying to get to IS via their territory. The countries also undertake to stop money subsidies to IS.

Jordan later joins the US-led alliance that fights IS with air strikes. Jordan participates in attack against IS positions in Syria.


Criticism from HRW

Human Rights Watch (HRW) accuses Jordan of sending back Palestinian refugees who have entered Syria from the country. More than 100 Palestinians should have been sent back. According to HRW, Palestinian refugees should also have been stopped at the border when they tried to enter Syria.


Demonstration in support of Islamists

Protesters in the city of Maan in the south show their support for the Islamic State (IS) extreme Islamist movement, which has taken control of large parts of Iraq and Syria and has made itself known for a particularly brutal regime in the areas controlled by the movement. Earlier in the year, Maan has been the center of several riots and violent confrontations with security forces that have been looking for suspected terrorists in the city. According to local activists, ten people have died as a result of police violence since the beginning of the year.


Suspected terrorist is released

Radical Muslim leader Abu Qatada is acquitted of charges of terrorism and released from prison. Qatada, who was extradited from the UK in 2013, was charged with supporting a group that planned to carry out attacks on Western and Israeli targets in connection with the celebration of the millennium in Jordan.


Diplomatic conflict between Syria and Jordan

Syria’s ambassador is expelled with immediate effect. The ambassador is accused of insulting the Jordanian people and the country’s leaders in several statements. At the same time, Syrian TV states that Syria plans to expel a Jordanian diplomat.

Kidnapped ambassador released

Jordan’s ambassador to Libya, Fawaz Aitan, who was kidnapped in April, released unharmed and taken home. No details are reported about the release, and it is unclear whether the negotiators have given in to the kidnappers’ demand that a Libyan militant Islamist be released in exchange for the ambassador.


A new law against terrorism is approved by Parliament

On April 22, Parliament approved amendments to the country’s 2006 anti-terrorist law to prevent more Jordanians from joining Islamist groups. The new additions criminalize, among other things, pronounced support for terrorist groups on the Internet and in the media. Hundreds of Jordanians have so far participated in the Syrian civil war, and the government has previously expressed concern that the conflict in the neighboring country will spread.

Armored vehicles from Syria are destroyed by military

On April 16, Jordanian fighter aircraft destroys several camouflaged armored vehicles that have crossed the border from Syria. The Syrian regime announces in a statement that these are not vehicles from the Syrian army.

The ambassador to Libya is kidnapped

On April 15, Jordan’s ambassador to Libya, Fawaz Aitan, is kidnapped by masked men traveling in two passenger cars. The kidnappers shoot the embassy vehicle and injure the driver. The Libyan authorities say that an investigation into the kidnapping has been started.

Riots in refugee camps require death victims

One person is killed and several injured in riots breaking out in a Syrian refugee camp near the border with Syria on April 4. Several riots have taken place in refugee camps over the past year, mainly due to dissatisfaction with living conditions. However, this is the first time the riots have demanded a death victim.

Jordan Energy and Environment Facts

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