Egyptian natural gas supply to Israel resumes

TEL AVIV – Supply of Egyptian natural gas to East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG) and to EMG's Israeli customers has resumed, company shareholder Ampal-American Israel Corp said on Wednesday.

Saboteurs blew up a pipeline carrying gas from Egypt to Israel and Jordan on Monday, forcing a shutdown in the flow of gas. It was the third attack since early February on the pipeline.

Previous explosions on 27 April and 5 February closed the pipeline for weeks.

State-owned Israel Electric Corp said the gas that was flowing from Egypt was equivalent to only 30-40 percent of the contractual amount due to be supplied.

The utility said it was prepared to meet immediate electricity demand by raising output at its coal-powered plants, increasing supply from Israel's Yam Thetis gas field and by using alternatives such as diesel and fuel oil during peak demand, subject to instructions from the Environment Ministry.

The electric company is also examining other options to meet demand beyond the immediate future.

Ampal , which has a 12.5 percent interest in the EMG consortium, said it was advised by EMG that the gas supply resumed on Tuesday.

Israel receives up to 45 percent of its gas from Egypt under a 20-year deal signed in 2005. The rest of its gas comes from the Yam Thetis group's field off Israel's southern Mediterranean coast.

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