gas pipeline 311 R.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Following the fourth gas explosion to hit the Egyptian pipeline in five months on Tuesday, experts have agreed that the resumption of the natural gas flow will not be quick this time, as the damage was quite severe.
An official from the Egyptian gas company GasCo told Egyptian newspaper Al-Mesryoon that while the explosion will not affect the gas flow to the city of el-Arish, the blast has “resulted in substantial material damage” on the portion of the line that transports gas to Israel, and will “take a long time” to repair.
Yet despite the expectedly lengthy cease in supply, analysts say Israel will get through the period – as in the previous lapse periods – by using more expensive and polluting fuels as alternatives to Egyptian gas.
“I think that what is the working assumption among the players in the energy sector in Israel, including the government, major gas consumers and competing gas suppliers is that natural gas supply from Egypt to Israel will not resume shortly,” Amit Mor, CEO and energy specialist at the Herzliya Pituach-based Eco Energy consulting firm, told The Jerusalem Post
“I think that the policy makers in the energy sector should plan
alternatives for Egyptian gas in fuel supplies for power generation and
Although supply of Egyptian gas is important to Israel for economic and
environmental reasons, the country will manage without that gas, but
with the burden of higher electricity tariffs and environmental costs.”
Such environmental costs, he explained, will include the consumption of
millions of extra tons of more expensive and environmentally harmful
substances, like diesel and heavy fuel oil.
“But I believe that the country will manage to pass the critical two
years until the gas from the Tamar field, [currently under development
by Noble Energy in the US and its Israeli partners] will reach the
market,” he said.
“It is a challenge of the fragile Egyptian government to gain civil and
military control over Sinai, this is crucial to Israel, especially to
the huge smuggling of ammunition from Egypt to the Gaza Strip," he