Jordan agrees to new price for Egypt gas: paper
Reuters, Wednesday 11 May 2011

Jordan has agreed to a new price for the gas that it imports from Egypt, a step that may help Cairo as it negotiates a higher price for its gas exports to Israel, al-Mal newspaper reported on Wednesday.

Egypt said last month it would review its gas contracts with other states, including Israel and Jordan, amid accusations the government of former President Hosni Mubarak had improperly negotiated the sale of gas at preferential prices.

Prime Minister Essam Sharaf at the time said he hoped to boost Egypt's income from its gas sales by $3-4 billion.

The Jordanian government had agreed to adjust the price it pays for its gas under a 2004 agreement to $1.27 per million BTUs, al-Mal quoted Hassan al-Mahdy, the chairman of the state-owned gas company EGAS, as saying.

The newspaper did not say what the previous price was, and government officials were not immediately available for comment.

The change in Jordan's position strengthens the Egyptian side to negotiate a price adjustment for gas exported to Israel, al-Mal said.

Israel gets about 40 percent of its natural gas from Egypt under an arrangement put in place after their landmark 1979 peace accord. It mostly uses coal for power generation but also has its own gas and can also use diesel and fuel oil as substitutes.

Egyptian opposition groups have long complained gas was being sold to Israel at preferential prices and that the contract with East Mediterranean Gas (EMG), which supplies Egyptian gas to Israel, violated bureaucratic regulations.

Egypt's public prosecutor last month ordered former energy minister Sameh Fahmy and five other senior energy officials detained for questioning over the Israel gas deal.

The previous government had insisted the deals were done on commercial terms.