Wednesday, March 16, 2011

'Egypt gas flow to Israel not to resume'


Huge flames erupt from an explosion at Egyptian gas pipeline supplying Israel and Jordan in El Arish, Egypt, February 05, 2011.

Source: Press TV
http://www.presstv.ir/detail/170063.html

The Egyptian gas supply to Israel that has been disrupted since a February 5 pipeline explosion does not seem to be restored at its full capacity any soon.

Egypt's East Mediterranean Gas Company has informed Tel Aviv authorities of a leak in one of its pipes in the El Arish area.

The news of further delay comes as the resumption of the vital gas supplies to Israel was expected to happen on Monday.

The flow of Egyptian natural gas to Israel was halted five weeks ago after an explosion in the Sinai pipeline at the peak of popular protests against ousted President Hosni Mubarak's regime -- which was seen as Tel Aviv's closest Mideast ally.

Meanwhile, experts speculate that once the gas supply is resumed, Israel will not receive more than one-quarter of the quantity supplied before the pipeline explosion.

Israeli authorities have estimated the damage caused to Tel Aviv's economy by the absence of Egyptian gas at $1.7 million a day.

Egypt has been supplying 40 percent of Israel's natural gas, used to produce 20 percent of Israel's electricity, since May 2008.

The Egyptian opposition is openly against the gas deal signed between Cairo and Tel Aviv under Mubarak in 2005.

The developments come as Egypt's ousted President Hosni Mubarak and his former petroleum minister are being investigated for selling artificially cheap gas to Israel.

This comes after chief prosecutor received evidence that Mubarak and Sameh Fahmy had sold natural gas to Israel and several Western countries for artificially low prices.

Fahmy has recently told investigators that he was just carrying out orders from Mubarak.

Chief prosecutor Abdel Magid Mahmud has estimated that the deals with Israel incurred as much as $500 million in losses, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported in early March.

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