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Report: Egypt to re-purchase natural gas sold to Israel
Published Monday 23/08/2010 (updated) 25/08/2010 09:10
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BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Egyptian government is seeking to re-buy approximately 1.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas it sold to Israel as the country faces a gas crisis, Egyptian media reported.

Unnamed sources told the Egyptian daily Ash-Sha'b that the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources said at least half of the natural gas sold to Israel would have to be repurchased for $14 billion, although it was originally sold for $2 billion.

In January, the petroleum minister announced that Egypt would need to import natural gas to cover huge shortfalls in domestic-use gas and industrial diesel. He retracted his statement shortly after over concerns of a backlash from those opposed to exporting natural gas to Israel.

The minister had also said that Egypt's natural gas reserve would serve the country for 38 years, and said it was increasing particularly in the Mediterranean and Nile Delta.

The report follows increased anxiety in Egypt over ongoing power cuts and water cuts, and a surge in wheat prices, Agence France-Presse reported Sunday.

The independent daily Shorouk reported Saturday that the power outages and recriminations between the oil and electricity ministries over who is responsible for them have embarrassed the ruling party, AFP reported.

There is also renewed protest against a gas deal that supplies Israel with an estimated third of its natural gas consumption, with some linking the power cuts to gas shortages, the newspaper reported.

Despite concerns, the electricity minister said Egyptians would need to lower the electricity load during Ramadan, which began in the second of week of August.

However, Mohammd Awad, head of the Electricity Holding Company, said lowering loads was a normal procedure during the summer period, given the increased consumption of electricity from air conditioners and refrigerators.
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1 ) Abu Bilal / Ethiopia
23/08/2010 15:01
What stupidity to sell for 2b $ and repurchase for 14 b$! I well know Egyptians are good at Mathematics but why this?! I wonder if Egyptian would stand against this humiliating deal!

2 ) Nour / One-State
23/08/2010 15:48
What's new, Egyptians have become a laughing stock in the Arab world. This new is no surprise at all, from the country of $2 a day and "ful" for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

3 ) Joe Fattal / USA
23/08/2010 17:33
Those figures are probably exaggerated. I don't think Egypt will spend 14 billions just to repurchase the gas. Egyptian economy is the worse among other Arab nations, and Israel will be out of 1.5 billion cubic meters in natural gas which I doubt they can even give it back, than they will be short.

4 ) Haany Halim / USA/UK/Egypt
23/08/2010 18:34
I am American born and my both parents are Egyptian. I want to make clear that it is important to distinguish between government and people. The Egyptian government is not a representation of the people's beliefs or wishes.

5 ) Colin Wright / USA
23/08/2010 18:37
This reminds me of some similar details of the arms deals Israel made with Turkey -- extraordinarily profitable for the Israelis. I think there's a lot of money being passed under the table. The worst of this is that such a pattern creates an Israeli clientele in these states that has a vested interest in continued good relations with her regardless of her behavior.

6 ) Terry / Sweden
23/08/2010 22:36
Mubarak has been a disaster for the Egyptian people.

7 ) Richard Braverman / USA
08/11/2010 07:44
@Terry
...................Mubarak has been a disaster for the Egyptian people.........

thats why the USA/GB/Israel had Sadat murdered !
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