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Egypt to resume gas exports to Jordan despite attacks


Egypt will sign a deal to resume gas exports to Jordan next month despite attacks by armed groups on the gas pipeline in Egypts Sinai region, Egyptian state news agency Mena cited Jordan Energy Minister Khaled Toukan as saying.

Since a popular uprising ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in February, armed militants have used a security vacuum in North Sinai to stage attacks on the gas pipeline supplying Jordan and Israel, disrupting flows to both countries.

Toukan said Jordan would pay a higher price for the gas under the new contract, but declined to reveal any figures.

He said Jordan remained interested in buying Egyptian gas to meet its needs despite "the attacks this year on the Egyptian gas pipeline in Sinai," Egyptian state news agency reported.

Attacks on the pipeline cut Egyptian gas exports to Jordan last year by 27 per cent and the decline doubled this year when the pipeline was hit five times, Mena said.

Jordan normally relies on Egyptian gas to generate 80 per cent of its power and was forced to switch partly to fuel oil and diesel to avoid disruption to electricity supplies, it said.

The previous gas deal between Jordan and Egypt was signed in 2004 and meant to last 15 years.

Egypt has been boosting gas production but most of the increase covers increased domestic demand as electricity consumption surges in the country of 80 million people.

A modest gas exporter, Egypt also exports gas via liquefied natural gas facilities on its north coast.