Egypt ends gas deal with Israel, stakeholder says


Egypt’s energy companies have terminated a long-term deal to supply Israel with gas after the cross-border pipeline sustained months of sabotage since a revolt last year, a stakeholder in the deal said on Sunday.

Ampal-American Israel Corporation, a partner in the East Mediterreanean Gas Company (EMG), which operates the pipeline, said the Egyptian companies involved had notified EMG they were “terminating the gas and purchase agreement”.

The company said in a statement that the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company had notified them of the decision, adding that “EMG considers the termination attempt unlawful and in bad faith, and consequently demanded its withdrawal”.

It said EMG, Ampal, and EMG’s other international shareholders were “considering their options and legal remedies as well as approaching the various governments”.

Before the sabotage, Egypt supplied about 40 percent of Israel’s natural gas, which is the country’s main energy source.

Israeli officials have said the country was at risk of facing summer power outages due to energy shortages.

Companies invested in the Israeli-Egyptian venture have taken a hit from numerous explosions of the cross-border pipeline and are seeking compensation from the Egyptian government of billions of dollars.

Ampal and two other companies have sought $8 billion in damages from Egypt for not safeguarding their investment.

The Egyptian decision is a potential blow to the country’s ties with Israel, already tested by the toppling of Israeli ally President Hosni Mubarak a year ago.

Egypt was the first of two Arab countries to sign a peace treaty with Israel, in 1979, followed by Jordan in 1994.

Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Michael Roddy

Remove Israeli envoy, stop gas exports, Egyptian parliament demands


The Egyptian parliament voted unanimously on a statement calling for the deportation of Israel’s ambassador and stopping gas exports to Israel.

The People’s Assembly passed the resolution Monday night stating that the halting of gas exports is in protest against attacks by Israel on Gaza.

The measure also called for the withdrawal of the Egyptian ambassador from Tel Aviv, according to Al Masry Al Youm (the Egypt Independent) daily newspaper and a renewal of the Arab boycott against Israel.

“Egypt after the revolution will never be a friend of the Zionist entity, the first enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation,” the resolution reportedly said, and demanded that the Egyptian government review all its relations and agreements with that “enemy,” according to Al Masry.

The motion is largely symbolic, according to The Associated Press, because only the ruling Military Council, the country’s current government, can make such decisions.

People’s Assembly Speaker Saad al-Katatny asked a special parliamentary committee to take the demands to the government, according to Al Masry.

Blast hits Egypt gas pipeline serving Jordan, Israel


An Egyptian pipeline carrying gas to Israel and Jordan was bombed on Monday, the 13th such attack since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled in 2011, witnesses said.

The attack on the installation that crosses the increasingly volatile Sinai region occurred in the Massaeed area west of the Mediterranean coastal town of al-Arish, in north Sinai.

Witnesses in al-Arish told Reuters that two blasts were set off within 15 m (yards) of each other using remote-controlled explosive devices.

The bombs were planted by at least six armed men who arrived in two pickup trucks, the witnesses added.

Security in Sinai was relaxed after Mubarak’s fall as the police presence thinned out across Egypt.

No group has claimed responsibility for the pipeline attacks.

Egypt’s 20-year gas deal with Israel, signed in the Mubarak era, is unpopular with some Egyptians, with critics accusing Israel of not paying enough for the fuel.

Previous explosions sometimes have forced weeks-long shutdowns along the pipeline run by Gasco, a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS.

Gasco said it had resumed pumping gas to households and industrial factories in al-Arish and began experimental pumping to Jordan and Israel last week.

The pipeline has been shut since an explosion on Feb. 5.

Egypt said in November it would tighten security along the pipeline by installing alarms and recruiting security patrols from Bedouin tribesmen in the area.

Reporting By Yusri Mohamed; Writing by Tamim Elyan; Editing by Michael Roddy.

Egypt arrests man in connection with gas line attacks


An Egyptian man, 20, has been arrested in connection with several attacks on a pipeline in the Sinai that carries gas to Israel.

The Egyptian state news agency MENA made the announcement Tuesday. The suspect is reported to be a resident of Arish, near the site of several of the attacks.

Articles on how to manufacture and use explosives were found on the suspect’s laptop, MENA reported, according to Reuters.

The pipeline has been attacked 10 times in the last year, since President Hosni Mubarak was overthrown, forcing major disruptions in the gas supply to Israel.

Egypt supplies Israel with more than 40 percent of its natural gas needs to produce electricity; electricity prices have risen by more than 10 percent in Israel since the attacks began.

Egyptian gas flows again to Israel


Egypt has renewed pumping gas to Israel through a pipeline that has been attacked six times in less than a year.

It is the first time that gas has flowed to Israel through the pipeline since July.

The return of Egyptian gas began on Sunday, after a short test the previous week. Gas flow was also renewed to Jordan, which recently agreed to pay a higher price for its gas, Reuters reported. Egypt is expected to demand that Israel agree to a price hike as well, according to reports.

Egypt supplies Israel with more than 40 percent of its natural gas needs to produce electricity; electricity prices have risen by more than 10 percent in Israel since the attacks began.

The most recent attack came in late September, when three men fired on the pipeline at a pumping station in the northern Sinai.

The first attack on the pipeline came in February during the uprisings against deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In July, machine-gun toting men overtook guards before blowing up a station in the Sinai.

Selling gas to Israel has been unpopular on the Egyptian street since the opening of the pipeline in 2008. Mubarak has been accused of giving Israel a sweetheart deal on the gas, since Egypt lost more than $714 million on the pact.

Egyptian gas pipeline to Israel attacked for sixth time


A pipeline that carries gas from Egypt to Israel was attacked for the sixth time in less than a year.

Three men fired on the pipeline at a pumping station in the northern Sinai on Tuesday morning, according to reports. The pipeline, which also serves Jordan then exploded.

It was not immediately known what affect the explosion would have on gas supplies to Israel and Jordan. Israel has not been receiving gas from Egypt since the pipeline was last attacked in July.

Egypt supplies Israel with more than 40 percent of its natural gas needs to produce electricity; electricity prices have risen by more than 10 percent in Israel since the attacks began.

The first attack on the pipeline came in February during the uprisings against deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. In July, machine-gun toting men overtook guards before blowing up a station in the Sinai.

Selling gas to Israel has been unpopular on the Egyptian street since the opening of the pipeline in 2008. Mubarak has been accused of giving Israel a sweetheart deal on the gas, since Egypt lost more than $714 million on the pact.

Blast destroys Egypt gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan


An explosion destroyed an Egyptian pipeline in Sinai on Tuesday that supplies Israel and Jordan with gas, security sources and witnesses said.

The security sources said the explosion happened west of the city of al-Arish. Witnesses said 15-metre high flames could be seen shooting up from the pipeline. The cause of the blast was not immediately known and there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The army surrounded the area and the company operating the pipeline closed it down after the blast, which was heard far away from the scene.

The pipeline has been repeatedly blown up by assailants believed to be opposed to selling Egyptian gas to Israel since President Hosni Mubarak was ousted in February.

The last attack occurred in July when men with machine guns in a small truck forced guards at a station out and blew it up.

The pipeline is run by Gasco, Egypt’s gas transport company which is a subsidiary of the national gas company EGAS.

Reporting by Sami Aboudi; Editing by David Stamp

Egypt resumes some gas flow to Israel after attack


Egypt resumed supplying some gas to Israel following an attack on the gas line, but only a small portion of the gas due is being supplied.

Terrorists on July 4 blew up a section of the pipeline that carries gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan, the third time that the pipeline has been sabotaged in the past six months.

Egypt supplies Israel with more than 40 percent of its natural gas needs to produce electricity.

The state-owned Israel Electric Corp. told Reuters that the gas flowing again from Egypt was equivalent to between 30 percent and 40 percent of the agreed-upon amount.

The supply of gas from Egypt was shut off for a month and never returned to full levels after terrorists in the Sinai blew up a section of the pipeline in February during the uprisings against deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

In March, explosives failed to detonate in a second attempt by terrorists to bomb the pipeline. Another attack on April 27 blew up part of the pipeline in El-Arish, again halting the gas supply.

The electric company said it would increase electricity production at its coal-powered plants in order to meet electricity demands, as well as use diesel and fuel oil.

Egypt still not supplying gas to Israel


Egypt has not resumed supplying gas to Israel, despite a month ago repairing a pipeline that was attacked by terrorists.

Egypt’s oil minister said Thursday that the need to secure the pipeline against future attacks, not politics, were preventing the resumption of supplying gas to Israel.

U.S. investors in the East Mediterranean Gas Co., which owns the pipeline, have taken legal steps against the Egyptian government to make sure that gas flow resumes to Israel.

Egypt supplies Israel with more than 40 percent of its natural gas needs to produce electricity.

The supply of gas from Egypt was shut off for a month and never returned to full levels after terrorists in the Sinai tried to blow up the pipeline in February during the uprisings against deposed Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. On March 27, explosives failed to detonate in a second attempt by terrorists to bomb the pipeline, when the gas supply again was completely halted.

Selling gas to Israel has been unpopular on the Egyptian street since the opening of the pipeline in 2008. Mubarak has been accused of giving Israel a sweetheart deal on the gas, since Egypt lost more than $714 million on the deal.

Egypt has said it will demand a retroactive payment of the difference between the reduced prices it received and market value on the natural gas Israel purchased under Mubarak.

Candidates to replace Mubarak as president have said they plan to renegotiate the contract with Israel.

Egypt questions Mubarak on gas deal with Israel


Egyptian judicial authorities have extended deposed President Hosni Mubarak’s detention to question him regarding a natural gas deal with Egypt.

Egypt lost more than $714 million in the deal, Egypt’s prosecutor said in a statement, the New York Times reported.

The extension of Mubarak’s remand, announced April 22, came as former Egyptian oil minister, Samih Fahmy, and five other top officials were arrested and imprisoned prior to the start of an investigation into the deal.

Egypt supplies more than 40 percent of the gas that Israel needs to provide the country with electricity. Candidates to replace Mubarak have said they plan to renegotiate the contract with Israel.

Egypt’s new foreign minister said earlier this month that Egypt will demand a retroactive payment of the difference between the reduced prices it received and market value on the natural gas it purchased under Mubarak.

The pipeline between Egypt and Israel opened in 2008. Selling gas to Israel was unpopular on the Egyptian street from the time the pipeline opened.

The supply of Egyptian gas to Israel has not returned to full levels since terrorists in the Sinai tried to blow up the pipeline in February during the uprisings against Mubarak in Egypt.

Egypt resumes supplying gas to Israel


Egypt resumed supplying Israel with natural gas after a six-week interruption.

The gas flow resumed late Tuesday night after a fifth delay on Monday. The break in supply came after a gas line was sabotaged on Feb. 5 during the uprising in Egypt that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

A leak was discovered shortly before the gas supply was set to resume Monday, the Ampal-American Israel Corp said in a statement.

Egypt supplies more than 40 percent of the gas that Israel needs to provide the country with electricity. The supplies had been expected to resume last month. It is not clear if Israel will now receive gas in the same quantities as previously.

The Israel Electric Company earlier this month received permission from Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry to use diesel and fuel oil to run power plants in the absence of the natural gas.

Some Israeli media have accused the Egyptian interim military government authorities of delaying the supply of gas to Israel for political reasons.

Egypt has suggested that it will not supply the usual amounts of gas when the pipeline is up and running again, according to reports, and wants to renegotiate better terms for its contract with Israel for supplying natural gas.

Egyptian company won’t restore gas to Israel


An Egyptian company will not resume delivering natural gas to Israel as expected, one month after its pipeline was sabotaged.

The East Mediterranean Gas consortium, which supplies 45 percent of the gas needed to produce Israel’s electricity, has missed four promised deadlines to reinstate the gas supply since the pipeline was damaged in a terrorist explosion Feb. 5. The attack was part of the uprising in Egypt that ousted President Hosni Mubarak.

The Israel Electric Company has requested permission from Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry to use diesel and fuel oil to run the power plant, Haaretz reported. The electric company has warned of possible brownouts throughout Israel due to the gas shortage and the fact that the American company Noble Energy will temporarily halt its supply of natural gas to do needed maintenance work.