Jordan, Israel, Negotiate Over Natural Gas Deal
Jordan and Israel are negotiating a gas deal, according to officials from the Jordanian government sources. Both countries have in the past faced numerous difficulties with unreliable supplies from Egypt.
Jordan’s Arab Potash Company (APC), one of the world’s largest potash producers, “is in contact with its Israeli counterpart through the American oil and gas firm Noble Energy to examine the possibility of importing gas,” Jordan’s Minister of Energy said in a statement, AFP reported Monday.
“The gas available in the Dead Sea area is a clean and inexpensive source of fuel and the company seeks to use it for its factories on the Dead Sea. But no agreement has been reached so far,” the minister said.
APC’s main shareholders are the Jordanian government, which owns around 26 percent of its stock, the Potash Corporation of Canada, with 28 percent, and the Saudi-based Arabian Mining Company with 20 percent.
The firm has said its 2012 net profits fell 34 percent to 198.8 million dinar ($280 million), mainly due to lower global demand and high fuel costs.
Up to this point, Egyptian gas has covered 80 percent of the kingdom’s electricity production demand in Jordan, which imports 95 percent of its energy needs.
But the daily gas flow to the energy-poor kingdom has dropped from 250 million cubic meters (8.8 billion cubic feet) to around 130 million cubic meters due to repeated terror attacks targeting the Egyptian oil and gas pipeline.
Similar gas supplies from Egypt to Israel that were part of the two countries’ peace agreement were unilaterally cut off in April 2012 due to the constant terrorist attacks on the pipeline and vehement objections from the ruling Muslim Brotherhood faction, which calls for an end to the treaty with Israel.