Minister of Energy Wael Sabri will attend the signing of a memorandum of understanding on the construction of a gas line originating in Egypt and extending to Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
According to a source at the Ministry of Energy, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon agreed last December to construct a gas pipeline to supply Jordan either through a line running from Al Arish, Egypt, to the Lebanese coast and through Syria and into the north of Jordan, or to construct a land line with the participation of Jordan that would extend from Al Arish, through Jordan to Syria and Lebanon.
The project, which will invite international participation, would eventually extend from Syria to Turkey and Europe, channeling both Egyptian and Syrian gas.The line through Jordan would have a capacity of 10 million cubic meters.
"The project is similar to what we had planned with a consortium led by BP-Amoco a couple of years ago," the source said, explaining that the oil giant had not expressed interest in extending the line outside of the Kingdom.
That deal fell apart in 1999, the consortium withdrew frustrated with inconsistent signals from the government about the future of the project.
The government said at that time that they could not proceed with the BP-Amoco project until gas reserves in the Risheh field, in the eastern desert, were confirmed.
"We were expecting to have better findings at Risheh," the source told the Jordan Times. "What we have found is that it will take a long time and possibly a lot of money to get gas out of the [Risheh field]."
The government hopes to realise a higher degree of self sufficiency in meeting its energy needs, as well as diversify its every resource.
Gas from the Risheh field meets 13 percent of the Kingdom's electricity needs. Jordan now relies almost exclusively on Iraq to meet its energy needs.
( Jordan Times )
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)