Minister: Egypt-Jordan gas dispute will not need international arbitration

Disagreements over the price for Egyptian natural gas exports to Jordan will not require international arbitration, according to Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Abdullah Ghorab.

A final draft of the contract will be composed soon in accordance with world rates and Egypt’s interests, the minister said.

Cairo and Amman have been in negotiations over means to review prices stated in a deal signed between both countries in 2004. The negotiations seek a “balanced” contract, the minister said.

Egyptian gas exports to Jordan and Israel were brought to a halt in April following an explosion resulting from an alleged attack on the pipeline supplying both countries. The incident was the second after vandalism targeted the same facility in February.

Speaking to Al-Masry Al-Youm, Ghorab stressed that the Egyptian government would not resume gas exports until setting prices that conform to world rates, and thus be on firmer ground to address the public perception that Israel receives favorable rates.

Egyptian gas exports satisfy approximately 40 percent of Israel’s needs. The minister noted that Egypt’s gas exports satisfy 80 percent of Jordan’s needs.

Jordanian officials earlier stressed adherence to the 2004 deal, saying they would only accept price increases for additional quantities and not for the amounts stated in the contract.

Ghorab, meanwhile, denied supplying Israel with gas for prices lower than those paid by Jordan, arguing that Amman’s information about the rates for Egypt’s gas exports to Israel are derived from newspapers that miscalculate the actual costs.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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