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Jordan denies resumption of Egyptian gas supplies

Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Mohamed Hamid denied on Wednesday that Egypt had resumed its gas supplies to his country.

Egyptian gas supplies to Jordan stopped in July of last year after an explosive was detonated by unknown militias along the main pipeline in the north of the Sinai Peninsula.

On Monday, the head of the energy committee in the Jordanian Parliament, Jamal Qamo, said that Egypt had recently started pumping only nominal amounts of gas.

However, the Al-Araby news website quotes an official at the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) as saying: "The company started pumping about 50 million cubic feet of gas daily into Jordan at the end of March. It is 20 per cent of the amount agreed upon in the contract."

Unknown militias have targeted the Egyptian-Jordanian gas pipeline 18 times since 2011.

Halting the supplies of Egyptian gas has caused losses to the Jordanian government estimated at $5 billion, due to the high cost of generating energy through electricity instead of gas.

The current daily cost of generating electricity in Jordan is estimated at $7 million a day. Jordan imports about 96.5 per cent of its fuel needs as its domestic fuel production covers only 3.5 per cent. Since last August, the government has raised electricity prices by at least 30 per cent.

According to the Jordanian Ministry of Energy, Egypt supplied Jordan with about 594.4 million cubic metres of gas last year, 587.2 million cubic metres in 2012 and 804.6 cubic metres in 2011.

Jordan signed an agreement with Egypt in 2001 to build a pipeline through the northern part of the Sinai to pump Egyptian gas into Jordan.

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