Egypt gas to Jordan resumes at weekend

AFP , Monday 14 Mar 2011

Jordanian energy minister will travel to Egypt Thursday for talks with his Egyptian counterpart

Egypt, which cut gas to Jordan and Israel after saboteurs attacked a pipeline in February, will resume supplies to the kingdom from the coming weekend, the energy minister said on Monday.

"We will start receiving gas from Egypt this weekend," Khalid Tuqan told AFP, adding that a Jordanian team is currently in Cairo to discuss technical details.

Tuqan said he will travel to Egypt on Thursday for talks with Oil Minister Abdullah Ghorab on "gas supplies to Jordan in line with a 2004 joint agreement." The interruption of the gas supply to Jordan, which imports around 240 million cubic feet of Egyptian gas a day, or 80 percent of its electricity needs, is costing the Jordanian economy some $4.2 million a day, according to Tuqan.

Gas supplies halted when the pipeline in the town of Lihfen in northern Sinai, near the Gaza Strip, was attacked with explosives on February 5.
A Jordanian official told AFP last week that Egypt wanted to raise the price of gas to the kingdom.

Egypt used to sell gas to Jordan at a discounted price -- half of the market price, or $3 (2.16 euros) per million British Thermal Unit (1,000 cubic feet of gas equals 1.027 million BTU), he said.

The 2004 deal is valid until 2016, according to sources familiar with the issue.

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