|Egypt mulls re-buying its own gas from Israel at a seven times higher price|
|Wednesday, August 25, 2010|
The Egyptian daily Al-Shaab reports that the Egyptian government, pressed by widespread popular unrest over power shortages caused by an insufficient domestic gas supply to power stations, is mulling the possibility of re-buying approximately 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas already supplied to Israel. In July 2005, pressed by the US, the Egyptian Petroleum and Mineral Resources Minister Sameh Fahmy and the Israeli Infrastructure Minister Benjamin Ben Eliezer signed a 2.5 billion dollar gas deal to supply the Israeli Electric Corporation with 1.7 billion cubic meters per year.
One third of Israeli gas supplies is planned to come from Egypt. According to Al-Shaab, the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum would have to repurchase at 14 billion dollars half of the Egyptian gas previously sold to Israel at 2 billion dollars, effectively donating Tel Avis 12 billion dollars. The fact that the Egyptian-Israeli gas deal had been concluded on the basis of fixed gas prices which turned out to descend way under world-market levels had contributed to widespread public indignation.