Egypt to test gas flow to Israel, Jordan
Cairo, June 6, 2011
Egypt will begin experimental pumping of gas to Israel and Jordan this week after supplies were halted for more than a month, a newspaper reported on Monday, citing Egyptian oil ministry officials.
Egypt's oil minister said last Thursday that firms involved in exporting Egyptian gas to Israel were discussing resuming supplies, which were halted by a pipeline attack, and dismissed the idea that politics was hindering agreement.
"Security measures were stepped up at the line's weak points to assure the resumption of gas pumping to Jordan and Israel, which would greatly help improve Cairo's position in re-pricing negotiations," al-Masry al-Youm newspaper reported, citing anonymous ministry officials.
Israel gets up to 45 per cent of its gas from Egypt. Supplies were halted for more than a month after the blasts on Egypt's side of the pipeline in the wake of political turmoil after President Hosni Mubarak was ousted.
Egypt said in April it would review its gas contracts with other states including Israel and Jordan.
The exports have long been a contentious issue in Egypt, with the media and ordinary Egyptians accusing Mubarak's government of selling gas too cheaply to Israel.
Egypt had signed a peace deal with Israel in 1979 but ties have never been very warm.-Reuters