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Jordan's Solution to Unreliable Egyptian Gas Supply: Qatar

Jordan is mulling a new business relationship with Qatar for its supply of natural gas, saying goodbye to Egypt and its pipeline problems.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/4/2012, 6:55 PM

Gas pipeline explosion (illustrative)
Gas pipeline explosion (illustrative)
Flash 90

Jordan is mulling the possibility of developing a new business relationship with Qatar for its supply of natural gas, given the constant sabotage on the pipeline from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

A joint Jordanian-Qatari committee has been formed to study ways to import liquified natural gas from the Gulf Arab state, the Jordanian state news agency, Petra, reported Tuesday.

Due to the constant disruptions resulting from the attacks on the Egyptian pipeline, Jordan has been forced to resort to more costly diesel oil and heavy fuel to meet its electricity needs, the news agency reported.

The pipeline was attacked more than 10 times in 2011.

Since Jordan imports nearly all of its energy needs -- with Egypt providing more than 80 percent of the kingdom's generated electricity -- the issue has become a primary concern.

"The public treasury of the kingdom has suffered a loss of about $5 million a day as a result of stopping the Egyptian gas supply and is converting all power plants to rely on industrial fuel and diesel," Jordanian authorities told Petra.

According to the report, the original contract between Jordan and Egypt signed in 2004 stipulated the export of 240 million cfg (cubic feet of gas) per day, for a period of 15 years.

Israel has likewise begun to rethink its options as a result of the terrorism, since it, too, receives 40 percent of its natural gas supplies from the Egyptian pipeline.