'Israel considering int'l arbitration over Egyptian gas'

Ahram Online reports Egyptian officials have rejected Israel’s threats and are adamant that they will adjust the prices and only resume pumping gas after agreement is reached.

By GLOBES CORRESPONDENT
May 29, 2011 22:42
1 minute read.
Flames from a pipeline blast in North Sinai.i

Egypt gas pipeline blast 58. (photo credit: REUTERS)

Israel has rejected Egypt’s plan to reconsider the price of gas and has threatened to resort to international arbitration, an official source in the Egyptian energy sector has told Egyptian news site Ahram Online.

According to the website, “The source said that the American partner in the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), which is owned by fugitive businessman Hussein Salem, has already warned the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) that Israel will seek international arbitration if Egypt does not resume pumping gas to Israel based on the prices agreed upon in existing contracts.”

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The source added that “Egyptian officials have rejected Israel’s threats and are adamant that they will adjust the prices and only resume pumping gas after agreement is reached.”

The source also said that Spain has agreed to pay a higher price.

Ahram Online commented, “The issue of gas prices has been a massive point of tension during the Mubarak regime. Many believed that Mubarak and his cronies sold Egypt’s gas to Israel and other countries at prices well below its value. Adjusting the gas prices has became a key demand of the revolutionaries, which led interim Prime Minister Essam Sharaf to promise to review the existing agreements.”

Supply of gas to Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria was halted a month ago following a terrorist attack on the pipeline near El Arish in the Sinai and has yet to be resumed. There had been a previous attack in February which halted gas supplies for over a month.


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