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‘Jordan will not be storing Israeli gas’

By Mohammad Ghazal - Sep 19,2018 - Last updated at Sep 19,2018

AMMAN — Jordan’s imports of natural gas from Israel will be used for daily production of electricity and will not be stored, Amani Azzam, secretary general of the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, said on Tuesday.

Under a deal between Jordan and Noble Energy, the Kingdom will import around 8.5 million cubic metres of natural gas from Israel every day, according to Azzam, who said the gas will be supplied through a pipeline.

Jordan’s daily needs of natural gas stand at about 9.9 million cubic metres, an official at the ministry said, adding that Jordan does not need to store the imported gas from Israel as it is currently storing imported liquefied gas from other sources in Aqaba.

In July, the government said work was under way to construct a 65-kilometre pipeline to transfer $10 billion worth of natural gas from Israel into Jordan for 15 years, with supplies expected to begin in 2020.

The pipeline, once completed, will be connected to the gas pipeline in Mafraq, and gas will later be distributed to the country’s power plants for electricity generation.

Work is also ongoing to build a pipeline on the Israeli side to transfer the gas to Jordan.

The 2016 deal was signed by Jordan’s electricity production arm, the National Electric Power Company and Noble Energy, a Houston-based company that holds the largest share in the Israeli Leviathan Gas Field.

The government then said it would import 7-8.5 million cubic metres of natural gas per day from Noble Energy, which is expected to save around JD700 million annually of the country’s energy bill.

Jordan started diversifying its natural gas resources after Egyptian gas supply to the Kingdom came to a halt in 2013, following a series of terrorist attacks to destroy the pipeline that brought cheap gas to Jordan, which had to rely on the expensive heavy oil for years before the country built a gas terminal in Aqaba and started to import liquefied gas. 

In Jordan, which imports about 95 per cent of its energy needs, demand for electricity rises by 6-7 per cent annually.

Boycott movements and activists have called on Jordanians not to sell their lands to the government as part of the plan to build the gas pipeline and several protests and activities were held over the past years in rejection of the agreement to purchase gas from Israel.

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