Egypt gas disruptions lead Jordan to consider Iranian alternative
Jordanian official says that repeated pipeline attacks mean the Kingdom will no longer rely on Egyptian gas and that other options are being considered
MENA and Ahram Online, Monday 11 Jul 2011
Gas pipeline near al-Arish, Egypt is seen on fire on April 27, disrupting supply to Jordan and Israel(Reuters)
Jordan is considering an Iranian offer to supply natural gas to the Kingdom as a means of overcoming its current energy crisis, the Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources has said.
Khaled Toukan told the Al-Ghad daily newspaper on Monday that Iran had submitted a letter to Jordan expressing its willingness to supply natural gas. The offer is being studied and no prices have yet been floated.
Tourkan said Jordan is considering a number of new options for natural gas, including supplies from Russia and Qatar, while continuing its negotiations with Egypt on a final price and the quantities of gas to be pumped into the Kingdom.
The minister earlier said that that Jordan will not rely on Egyptian gas as its primary source for generating electrical power because of frequent interruptions in the supply, which has amounted to 82 days since the start of 2011.
The Iranian ambassador in Amman, Mustafa Zadeh, said that Jordan has not yet replied to his country’s offer which was submitted more than a month ago. Iran would use the same pipelines which export gas to Iraq and Turkey for delivery to Jordan, he said.
Zadeh also suggested that details of quantity and pricing would be negotiated once the Jordanian government responds.
On Saturday, the Jordanian minister predicted Egyptian gas would resume its flow next week, in quantities of up to 100 million cubic feet per day, reaching 175 million cubic feet in the autumn.
Egypt and Jordan earlier agreed to raise the 2012 supply to 220 million cubic feet. On Friday, Toukan told Jordanian television that an initial agreement to review gas prices had been signed between Egypt and Jordan.
Pipelines carrying natural gas to Israel and Jordan have been blown up three times since February, forcing a shutdown in gas flow. The latest incident was on 4 July.
Repairs to the pipeline are expected to be complete by the end of this week, signalling a full resumption of gas supplies.