Mar 21, 2013

AMMAN — Egypt has not taken a decision to reduce gas supplies to Jordan, a diplomat said on Thursday.

Khaled Thawrat, Egyptian Ambassador to Jordan, was responding to reports claiming that Cairo intends to cut down the amount of gas it exports to Jordan and halt the supply completely in June, describing the reports as false.

In a statement carried by the Jordan News Agency, Petra, the diplomat said the vital gas flow has been stable during the past three months.

Once Jordan’s primary energy source, Egyptian gas accounted for 80 per cent of the Kingdom’s electricity generation needs in 2009, a figure that dropped to 18 per cent in 2012.

Multiple acts of sabotage on the Arab Gas Pipeline in the aftermath of the ousting of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011 brought the pumping of Egyptian gas to Jordan to a standstill. Cairo suspended all supplies in October 2012 in order to resolve a spike in domestic demands for energy.

The drop in Egyptian gas supplies has forced Jordan onto costlier heavy oil imports, which has ballooned the national energy bill to an estimated JD4.4 billion, and pushed the cost of electricity subsidies to over JD1 billion.

But Jordanian officials negotiated a resumption of the gas flow with Egyptian peers and their efforts paid off. In January, it was announced that supplies were to return to their full levels of 240 million cubic feet (mcf) per day, after hovering around an average of 40mcf for most of 2012.—-diplomat