The Jordanian government has agreed to reopen its natural- gas contract with Egypt and to pay a higher price, Egyptian newspaper Al-Mal reported Thursday.

Israel has a similar gas contract with Egypt, and there have been several reports in the Egyptian media that the Egyptian government wants to double the price of gas it sells to Israel. The agreement with Jordan could put pressure on Israel to agree to a substantial price hike, Al-Mal said.

The report quoted Prime Minister Essam Sharaf as saying he hopes to boost revenue from natural-gas sales by $3 billion to $4b.

It also quoted Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company chairman Hassan al-Mahdy as saying the Jordanian government had agreed to adjust the price it pays for its gas under a 2004 agreement.

Egypt said last month it would review its gas contracts with other states, including Israel and Jordan, amid accusations the government of former president Hosni Mubarak had improperly negotiated the sale of gas at preferential prices. Egypt’s public prosecutor ordered former energy minister Sameh Fahmy and five other senior energy officials detained for questioning over the Israel gas deal.

East Mediterranean Gas Company supplies 40 percent of Israel’s gas needs.

Yossi Maiman owns 20.6% of EMG through Ampal- American Israel Corporation and his private company Merhav Ltd.

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