Israeli minister: Gas deal with Egypt most important Camp David output

Saleh Naami , Wednesday 27 Apr 2011

Israel, which enjoys below-market gas prices from Egypt after Camp David Accords, considers alternatives to Egyptian gas flow in light of recent pipeline bombings and political winds of change

A part of a gas pipeline is seen on fire near the northern city of al-Arish April 27, 2011. Saboteurs blew up a pipeline running through Egypt's North Sinai on Wednesday that supplies gas to Israel and Jordan, (Reuters).

Israel's National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau said that the gas agreement with Egypt is the most important outcome of the Camp David Accords, which officially ended the state of war between the two countries and opened a path for Egypt-Israel natural gas deals.

In an interview conducted by the Israeli army radio this Wednesday morning Landau said that he expects matters to return to where they were before the gas tube fuelling Israel and Jordan was bombed today.

Landau recalled that Israel has started preparing alternatives for the day the gas stops flowing from Egypt during these tumultuous times.

On the same subject, Israeli daily Yedioth Ahornoth reported that a high-ranking source in the Israeli electricity company said that the search for viable alternatives to Egyptian gas would cost the state a million and a half dollars per day.

The source explained that the obstruction of gas flow from Egypt has already lead to disturbances in the supply of electricity to Israeli cities, noting that up to 40 per cent of the gas used to fuel their power plants is Egyptian.

According to the daily, Israeli experts say that the alternatives are limited to either producing Israeli gas from fields, like the disputed off-shore fields in the Mediterranean claimed by Lebanon, or to utilising petroleum derivatives as a substitute.

They affirmed that an alternative would cause the price of electricity to increase on the consumer's end.

The daily indicated that Israel buys Egyptian gas at an exceptionally low price in comparison with the global market.

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