Egypt raises price and volume of gas exported to Israel

Abdel-Rahman Hussein
3 Min Read

CAIRO: Egypt has increased the volume of gas exported to Israel after agreeing to an increase in the price, according to local reports.

The Ministry of Petroleum increased the volume of exported gas to Israel by 50 percent after an agreement had been reached with the Israeli government over increasing the price, according to business news portal Noozz.

Egyptian natural gas is exported to Israel via the Egyptian/Israeli consortium Egyptian Mediterranean Gas (EMG). The source said that the new agreement had included a structure to review prices in the future.

The gas deal with Israel has brought a lot of local opposition, especially because of the favorable price, spearheaded by the popular campaign to prevent the export of Egyptian gas.

Member of the campaign Abdallah Helmy told Daily News Egypt that the news of the price hike wasn’t a breakthrough due to lack of transparency concerning the terms of the deal, old and new.

“We still need transparency, how much was it and how much is it now? It could have been raised only a quarter of a cent, he said, “so we don’t believe a thing so far. Until there is transparency we will not take this at face value. They are hiding it from the Egyptian people, why does everyone but the Egyptians know the numbers?

Helmy also said that the issue of this particular gas deal wasn’t only the price, but also the long-term length of the contract which limited Egypt’s options regarding price adjustments and more lucrative deals for its natural gas.

“Another issue is the length of the contract, which is 20 years, he said, “If you’re going to adjust the price for 2009, it will still be insufficient in 2014. You need to be signing contracts that can be renewed every few years to adjust for price.

The campaign is also pursuing the matter in court, but was dealt a severe blow last April when Cairo Court for Urgent Cases ruled for overturning the Administrative Court decision to ban the exportation of Egyptian natural gas.

The deal was struck in a memorandum of understanding signed in 2005 between the two countries. The contract was initially for 15 years guaranteeing a supply of 1.7 billion cubic meters a year at the price of $1.5 per million BTU (British Thermal Units).

EMG is a private energy consortium co-owned by Egyptian businessman Hussein Salem and the Israeli Merhav Group. The gas being supplied to Israel specifically goes to the Israel Electric Corporation.

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