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Since the triumph of the Egyptian revolution in February 2011 Jordan’s natural gas imports have suffered “collateral damage,” as Egyptian militants repeatedly bombed Egypt's $500 million East Mediterranean Gas Company Ltd. pipeline, which exported Egyptian natural gas not only to Israel but Jordan, Lebanon and Syria via underwater pipelines from Al 'Arish to Ashkelon in a separate branch of the pipeline. On 18 December the pipeline suffered its 10th bombing since the “Arab Spring” began.
Jordan relies on East Mediterranean Gas Company Ltd. natural gas exports for over 80 per cent of its electricity generation needs at a cost of 23 percent of its gross domestic product, while Israel utilizes natural gas to meet around 36 percent of its electricity needs.
Scrambling for alternatives, Jordanian Ministry of Energy Secretary General Farouq Hariri said that his ministry’s officials have been in contact with Iraq to supply Jordan with natural gas, with a possible agreement signed later this year.
But what really has Amman excited is the possibility of importing Qatari natural gas. The Jordan Times reported Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Qutaiba Abu Qura said that during an official visit to the Qatari capital Doha last week, he and Qatari Minister of Energy Mohammed Ben Saleh Al Sada formed a joint technical team to explore the prospects of supplying Qatari gas to Jordan which is expected to compile a report within two months on the feasibility of supplying the Kingdom with Qatari gas, adding, "There was a positive atmosphere and we believe the possibility of supplying Jordan with Qatari gas is quite promising."
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com