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      Report: Egypt Wants to Cancel Gas Agreement

      Egypt’s Petrol Minister seeking to cancel gas supply agreement with Israel, ask for a higher price, says report in Egyptian media.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 7/21/2011, 4:14 AM

      Egypt’s Petrol Minister is threatening to seek the cancellation of the current gas supply agreement with Israel and at the same time will demand a new price from Israel, the Egyptian daily Youm7 reported on Wednesday.

      A senior source close to the minister, Abdallah Ghorab, was quoted by the newspaper as saying that Egypt is preparing a request to the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington DC, asking it to end the gas agreement.

      According to the report, East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), the company that exports gas from Egypt to Israel, intends to submit to the tribunal a claim for $8 billion in damages.

      The source said that Egypt will demand that the company should raise the value of the deal with Israel to $10 billion. The source also hinted that the recent attacks on the gas pipeline to Israel in the Sinai will continue unless implementation of the agreement in its present format is halted.

      The pipeline has been the target of repeated attacks, the latest one having occurred last week. It was the fourth time since February that the pipeline had been attacked.

      Infrastructures Minister Uzi Landau said after the latest blast that it signals a further erosion of “goodwill” from Cairo.

      “Economic ties between Egypt and Israel are eroding,” Landau said, warning that the result of the blasts will be a hike by approximately 20 percent in the cost of electricity, as the Israel Electric Corp. is forced to use expensive diesel fuel as a substitute for natural gas from Egypt.

      Meanwhile, a spokesperson for Merhav, the Israeli company which co-owns EMG, told the Globes financial newspaper on Wednesday, “We suggest taking the reports in the Egyptian press and media with a pinch of salt.

      “What the international investors in EMG have to say, they will say to the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes in Washington,” added the spokesperson.