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Egypt Gas Exports to Jordan Cut Again

Source: Ahram Online 6/10/2012, Location: Africa

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A trial run of Egyptian natural gas exports to Jordan has been cut for reasons that remain unclear, Egyptian state news agency MENA reported on Sunday, citing a Jordanian official. The official, who spoke to Jordanian daily Al-Dustour on condition of anonymity, said that his government should look seriously for alternative gas sources to replace Egypt.

Jordan remains dependent on high-priced diesel fuel to meet its electricity-production needs. The high cost of diesel fuel has resulted in mounting debts for Jordan's national electricity company.

Egypt resumed its natural gas exports to Jordan in early May after the flow was disrupted by repeated attacks on the gas pipeline that runs across the northern Sinai Peninsula.

The pipeline, which also carries Egyptian gas to Israel, has been attacked 14 times since January 2011 by unknown assailants. Egyptian gas accounts for some 80 per cent of Jordan's electricity production. The Hashemite kingdom imports an estimated 95 per cent of its total energy needs.

Gas supplies from Egypt to Jordan plunged from 300 million cubic metres a day in 2009 to 78 million cubic metres last year, according to figures from Jordan's Electricity Regulatory Commission.

In April, Egypt announced its decision to cancel a seven-year-old gas export deal with Israel, saying that Israeli buyers had failed to meet their contracted obligations.

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