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Gov’t has not signed gas deal with Israel yet — spokesperson

By Khetam Malkawi - Dec 16,2014 - Last updated at Dec 16,2014

AMMAN — The government on Tuesday denied reports that it has signed the gas import agreement with Israel, saying that only “letters of intent” were exchanged with Noble Energy.

The statement came in response to news reports by an Israeli news channel that claimed Jordan had signed the agreement with Israel even before the government discussed the issue with MPs.

“The agreement has not yet been signed,” Government Spokesperson Mohammad Momani told The Jordan Times over the phone.

In September, the government said the state-owned National Electric Power Company (NEPCO) and the US-based Noble Energy signed a deal under which NEPCO would buy 250-300 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from Noble Energy.

Last Wednesday, MPs recommended that the government shelve the planned natural gas deal with Israel following two long sessions dedicated to discussing the controversial issue. 

Asked if the government will take the Lower House’s recommendations into consideration, Momani said: “We respect lawmakers’ recommendations when discussing ISsue, but the government, in the end, will take the decision that reflects positively on citizens and the country’s economy.”

He explained that the government has no other option at present, but will remain open to any other alternatives that might arise in the future.

According to the minister, the cost of importing gas from Qatar is too high, while Egypt has limited quantities and the third Arab country that exports gas is Algeria, which is currently committed to other contracts.

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