Jordan Not Receiving Gas Either

Israel is not alone in the sudden stoppage of natural gas from Egypt. After the Sinai pipeline sabotage, Jordan is parched for gas, too.

Gabe Kahn., | updated: 01:13

Gas pipeline
Gas pipeline
Israel news photo: Wikimedia Commons

Israel is not the only country who isn't receiving gas from Egypt following the sabotage of the Egyptian gas pipeline in Sinai during January's unrest which led to former President Hosni Mubarak's ouster. While most focus solely on Egypt's failure to resume the supply of natural gas to Israel, Jordan isn't receiving any gas from Egypt, either, according to Dr. Aaron Lerner of International Media Review Analysis.

“Given that there is absolutely no problem in relations between Jordan and Egypt there is no reason to attribute the failure to resume gas supplies to Israel to any possible problem in Israeli-Egyptian relations,” Dr. Lerner wrote, citing a press release on the website of the Jordanian National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).

In a statement to Al Doustour, on Sunday, Jordan's Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Dr. Khaled Tuqan, said: “Our brothers in Egypt told us yesterday it was the finalization of all technical procedures at the plant, which was vandalized last month, and that there are internal procedures for the resumption of pumping gas.”

As of Sunday, March 6th, NEPCO's losses due to the cessation of pumping were estimated at 72 million dinars [101 Million USD], an average of 3 million dinars [4.2 million USD] per day, as a result of relying on the use of heavy fuel and diesel in the generation of electrical power. The losses occurred because NEPCO declined to raise prices due to shortages – possibly attributable to Jordan's own domestic turbulence which forced King Abdullah to sack his prime minister and cabinet, and launch a campaign of government reform.

Under current agreements between the two countries, Jordan's import of natural gas from Egypt via the Arab gas pipeline passing through the Hashemite kingdom's territory accounts for 80% of electricity production in the kingdom.

Israel, who receives 40% of its natural gas supplies from Egypt under a deal that went into effect three years ago under which Egypt is to sell Israel 1.7 billion cubic meters a year for at least 15 years, has taken the interruption of gas from Egypt as a sign it needs to achieve diversified energy security.

"Israel needs to achieve security of energy supply. This is one of the most fundamental security and economic aspects of a country," said Gina Cohen, an electricity and gas industry consultant based in Israel.

Israel's recently discovered Leviathan and Tamar gas-fields, may prove to be game-changers in terms of the region's energy politics, however. Combined, the fields contain an estimated 24 trillion cubic meters of natural gas. The finds are enough to keep Israel energy self-sufficient for decades – and may allow Israel to export natural gas to its neighbors.

Last week, Gideon Tadmor, President and CEO at Delek Energy, one of the Tamar field's developers, said his company was interested in shipping gas to Jordan and Cyprus. He told Platts, “The matter is at the initial stage of examination by Delek and other parties."


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