The shutdown of Israeli imports of Egyptian natural gas through Egypt's $500 million East Mediterranean Gas Company Ltd. (EMG) pipeline is now costing the Israeli economy an estimated $2.68 million per day.
Following the overthrow of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak’s regime in February the pipeline became subject to increasing attacks and is at present completely shuttered since 25 July, forcing the Israeli government to scramble for alternatives.
The Israel Electric Corporation has accordingly increased its use of imported diesel and fuel oil to generate electricity, according to Israel’s Ministry of National Infrastructures which led in July-August to the use of 142,000 tons of diesel, Israel’s Globes business newspaper reported.
According to Ministry of National Infrastructures statistics, Israel Electric Corporation’s consumption of diesel was 103 percent higher in January-August 2011 than in the same period in 2010, primarily because of the cessation of natural gas imports from Egypt. Diesel consumption was 382 percent higher in March than in the corresponding month, 212 percent higher in April, 424 percent higher in July and 78 percent higher than in August.
The Egyptian-Israeli natural gas agreements allowed for Israel to purchase up to 7 billion cubic meters of Egyptian gas annually, which made Israel one of Egypt's most important natural gas export markets.
By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com