Egyptian Court reviews petition demanding gas export to Israel be halted

An Egyptian lawyer said on Monday that a court was reviewing a demand to halt natural gas exports to Israel. Lawyer Ibrahim Yousri said the petitioners want to stop the deal because of its below market gas prices of only US$1.5 per British thermal unit, a measure of energy. The market price is almost nine times higher and Yousri says Egypt is losing about US$9 million a day over it. He said Judge Ahmed el-Shazli on Monday asked the petitioners to present documents supporting their case and adjourned the hearings till October 17. Egypt began pumping gas to Israel in February, after an energy deal under which Cairo-based East Mediterranean Gas is to sell 1.7 billion cubic meters of gas annually to state-run Israel Electric Corporation for the next 15 years.