By Yoram Gabison

Israeli companies put their faith in Egyptian gas, signing four new contracts with EMG last month to supply a total of 1.4 billion to 2.9 billion cubic meters of gas, worth a total of $5 to $10 million.

EMG is partially owned by Israeli businessman Yossi Maiman through his company Ampal, whose share dropped 10.5% on Friday. Ampal has a 12.5% direct and indirect holding in EMG.

Israel’s most significant contract with the Egyptian company is a 2008 agreement to supply 2.1 billion cubic meters of gas a year to the Israel Electric Corporation. Currently, 40% of the utility’s electricity is produced from gas, and of the gas 45% comes from EMG.

As of yesterday afternoon, gas was being transferred as usual. “Egypt’s economic interests haven’t changed as a result of the internal events,” said Maiman.

If Israel were to lose its Egyptian gas supply, its options would include buying more gas from Tethys Sea or increasing electricity production from coal.