Four Arab Energy Ministers to Meet in Beirut to Discuss Gas-line Deal
Ministers of energy and oil from Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon have decided to further study the economic feasibility of a regional gas pipeline deal that was agreed on late January in Cairo, reported the Jordan Times newspaper.
Following the two-day meeting in Beirut, Jordan’s minister of energy, Wael Sabri, said the four ministers, who compose the "higher council" overseeing the implementation of the project, discussed a feasibility study on both a marine and landline for the transportation of Egyptian gas to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, said the paper.
The paper quoted Sabri as telling the official news agency PETRA as telling that the four ministers also were exploring "the kind of partnership" that might be established between the four countries, the structural outlines of the project and the possibility of forming a general secretariat and technical, commercial and legal committees to prepare for the launch of the project."
The signed agreement stipulates the creation of two companies.
One, which will be called Orient Company, will build gas pipelines across the Mediterranean to transport initially some 12 million cubic meters (420 million cubic feet) of natural gas per day from the Egyptian coastal city of El Arish to the Lebanese northern port of Tripoli.
The 400-kilometer (250-mile) long undersea pipeline is expected to be built in three to four years.
The second entity, the Arab Company, will construct a gas pipeline between Tripoli in north Lebanon and Syria and eventually pipelines to re-export the gas to countries in the region, such as Jordan and Turkey, and unspecified European states.
Egyptian energy minister, Sameh Fahmi, estimated the deal to be worth more than one billion dollars, of which 800 million dollars is for the undersea pipelines and 200 million dollars for the land pipelines -- Albawaba.com