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Israeli gas to Jordan expected in 2020 — official

By Mohammad Ghazal - Jul 05,2018 - Last updated at Jul 05,2018

AMMAN — Work is under way to construct a pipeline to transfer $10 billion worth of natural gas from Israel into Jordan, with supplies expected to begin in 2020, said a government official.

Contractors are currently working on building a 65-kilometre pipeline that stretches from the Kingdom’s borders with Israel in the north to Mafraq Governorate. 

The pipeline, once completed, will be connected to the gas pipeline in Mafraq, and gas will later be distributed to the country's power plants for generation of electricity, Abdel Fattah Daradkeh, director general of the National Electric Power Company (NEPCO), told The Jordan Times in an interview this week.

“The pipeline will be completed by the end of 2019 and we were informed by Noble Energy that gas will start flowing to Jordan in early 2020,” the official added.

Work is also ongoing to build a pipeline on the Israeli side to transfer the gas to Jordan, he added.

In September 2016, NEPCO signed a 15-year agreement with Noble Energy, a Houston-based company that holds the largest share in the Israeli Leviathan Gas Field, to purchase $10 billion worth of natural gas supplies.

The government then said it would import 250-300 million cubic feet of natural gas per day from Noble Energy, which is expected to save around JD700 million annually of the country’s energy bill.

Under the deal, Jordan will receive 3 billion cubic metres of gas per year.

The official said there were no talks with Noble Energy to increase the volume of gas to be supplied to Jordan.

“There are no talks whatsoever to increase volume. We have not mentioned this at all during our meetings with Noble Energy,” he said.

Minister of State for Media Affairs Jumana Ghunaimat said Jordan does not need to increase the volume of gas to be purchased from Noble Energy.

“First of all, the quantity of gas that we will get from Noble Energy is large… At the same time, we have an agreement to get gas from Egypt,” she told The Jordan Times late Tuesday.

“We expect the resumption of the Egyptian gas supply to Jordan to coincide with the flow of gas from Noble Energy in 2020, and thus we do not need more volumes of natural gas,” the minister said.

“The gas via Noble Energy and the Egyptian gas will be enough to meet local needs,” she added.

Egyptian gas supply to Jordan was halted in 2013 following a series of attacks and bombing of the pipeline supplying gas to Jordan.

In Jordan, which imports about 95 per cent of its energy needs, demand for electricity rises by 6-7 per cent annually.

Boycott movements and activists have called on Jordanians not to sell their lands to the government as part of the plan to build the gas pipeline, and several protests and activities were held over the past years in rejection of the agreement to purchase gas from Israel.

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