Egypt offers to help Palestinians develop natural gas industry
Egypt is prepared to provide technical assistance to the Palestinians to develop newly discovered natural gas fields off the Gaza Strip shore, Oil Minister Sameh Fahmi said Tuesday.
"We are ready to provide any technical assistance needed in the area of setting up natural gas distribution networks and developing this industry after natural gas was discovered in the Palestinian territories," Fahmi said.
He was speaking after talks with Palestinian officials, including industry minister Saad al-Krunz and finance minister Mohammad Nashashibi, according to a report by Egypt's state-run MENA news agency.
"Natural gas reserves in the Palestinian territories are being evaluated to determine if they will be able to cover local consumption, and if there is a possibility of export," Fahmi was quoted as saying.
On September 27, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat officially launched drilling operations to tap a newly discovered offshore gas field.
Present at that ceremony was the president of British Gas, Hugh Miller, whose company won a concession from the Palestinian Authority in 1999 to prospect in the Mediterranean Sea off Gaza.
"There is more than enough gas in this discovery to supply the local needs, and I am confident there will be some too for export," Miller said.—AFP.
©--Agence France Presse 2001.
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)