Egypt reviews re-start of gas exports to Israel

Reuters, Thursday 2 Jun 2011

Israel gets 40 per cent of its natural gas from Egypt, a deal built on their landmark 1979 peace accord (Reuters)

Egypt is reviewing the timetable for resuming gas exports to Israel, which were halted after a pipeline attack in April, the Egyptian oil minister said on Thursday.

Asked when Egypt will resume the exports, Petroleum Minister Abdullah Ghorab said the issue was "under review".

Israel received natural gas from Egypt under a 20-year deal signed in 2005, but flows were halted when an armed gang attacked a metering station in North Sinai on April 27.

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

Supplies have been halted for over a month, and U.S. investors in the company that operates the Israel export pipeline, Ampal American Israel CorP (AMPL.TA) (AMPL.O), have taken legal steps against Egypt's government to ensure gas flows resume.

Israel gets up to 45 per cent of its natural gas from Egypt.

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