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Jordan looking for alternatives to Egyptian gas

09 March 2012

Jordanian Prime Minister Awn al-Khasawneh said he will visit Iraq soon to seek alternatives to Egyptian natural gas supplies, which have halted after a series of attacks against the pipeline that transports gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan.

The gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan has been attacked 13 times since Egypt’s January 2011 revolution
The gas pipeline to Israel and Jordan has been attacked 13 times since Egypt’s January 2011 revolution

Imports through the pipeline have been suspended since twin explosions near Al Arish on 5 March, the 13th such attack since Egypt’s January 2011 revolution against Hosni Mubarak’s regime. The pipeline had only been repaired a few days earlier after the previous attack on February 5. 

Jordan's authorities have said that the kingdom has suffered a loss of about $5 million a day as a result of the disruption of Egyptian gas supplies.

The gas deal between Egypt and Jordan was signed in 2004 and was meant to run for 15 years. In the period before the revolution, Egyptian gas fulfilled 80% of Jordan’s electricity needs, some 6.8 million cubic metres a day. Now, the Prime Minister says that Jordan must convert its power plants to burn fuel oil and diesel, boost its storage capacity and create space in its market for more than one primary supplier.

Jordan currently imports nearly 10,000 barrels of Iraqi oil on a daily basis, fulfilling 10 percent of its needs, while the other 90 percent is imported from Saudi Arabia. The kingdom hopes to increase its imports to 30,000 barrels to make up for the halted Egyptian supplies.

Jordan has also been looking into the possibility of importing liquefied natural gas from Qatar, which will require upgrading its infrastructure and installing storage facilities at the country’s Red Sea port of Aqaba. MEED has also reported that Jordan plans to store gas on ships.  

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