Egypt resumes natural gas supplies to Israel
Reuters, Sunday 20 Nov 2011
Supplies restart 10 days after the latest bombing on Sinai pipeline, says shareholder in consortium behind exports

Supplies of natural gas from Egypt to Israel, which were halted on 10 November after saboteurs blew up a Sinai pipeline, have resumed, a shareholder in the consortium that exports the gas to Israel said on Sunday

Ampal-American Israel Corp said "it was advised by East Mediterranean Gas Co, in which Ampal has a 12.5 per cent interest, that gas supply to EMG, and subsequently to EMG's Israeli customers, which was interrupted on Nov. 10, 2011, has resumed yesterday".

Saboteurs blew up the Sinai pipeline in the sixth such attack since the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak. Pumping had only resumed on 24 October after repairs from a previous attack.

Egypt's 20-year gas deal with Israel, signed in the Mubarak era, is unpopular with the Egyptian public, with critics arguing that the Jewish state was not paying enough for the gas.

An EMG board member said in July that shareholders in the firm were pursuing legal claims against Egypt for US$8 billion in damages from contract violations in gas supplies.

The gas disruptions have cost state-owned Israel Electric Corp, which has had to switch to more expensive fuel to generate electricity and subsequently increased electricity rates.

EMG is also 12.5 per cent owned by Israel's Merhav. Other stakeholders include Egyptian businessman Hussain Salem, the Egypt Natural Gas Co, Thailand's PTT and U.S. businessman Sam Zell.