By Steven Scheer / Reuters
JERUSALEM: Natural gas supplies from Egypt to Israel resumed on Tuesday after a pipeline explosion earlier this month halted delivery, a shareholder in the consortium that exports the gas to Israel said.
Ampal-American Israel Corp said “it was advised that East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG), in which Ampal has a 12.5 percent interest, that gas supply to EMG, and subsequently to EMG’s Israeli customers has resumed today.”
Saboteurs on Feb. 5 blew up the Sinai pipeline in the 12th such attack since the overthrow of president Hosni Mubarak a year ago. Egypt’s 20-year gas deal with Israel, signed in the Mubarak era, is unpopular with some Egyptians.
Security in Sinai loosened after Mubarak’s fall as the police presence thinned out across Egypt.
The gas disruptions have cost state-owned Israel Electric Corp, which has had to switch to more expensive fuel to generate electricity and subsequently increased electricity rates.
EMG is also 12.5 percent owned by Israel’s Merhav. Other stakeholders include Egyptian businessman Hussain Salem, the Egypt Natural Gas Co, Thailand’s PTT and US businessman Sam Zell.