Jordan Defend Gas Deal with Israel


Jordan on Monday defended its deal to buy Israeli natural gas that has stirred public opposition, insisting the accord would not leave the Arab country reliant on the Jewish state.

Information Minister Mohamed Momani, who is also government spokesman, told Jordanian television that the deal would cut $600 million a year from the state's energy bill.

"We will not be dependent on Israel," he said.

Momani said the government was seeking to diversify its sources of gas supplies.

It was "too simplistic to say that sealing such a deal means the kingdom is supporting Israeli occupation," he said, referring to the occupied Palestinian territories.

Hundreds of Jordanians took part in a demonstration Friday in the centre of Amman to protest against the deal signed on September 26 to import natural gas from Israel.

The protest was called by trade unions and political parties opposed to the 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan, half the population of which is of Palestinian origin.

A US-led consortium leading the development of Israel's offshore gas reserves announced the deal to sell natural gas from its Leviathan field to Jordan.

US firm Noble Energy, the lead partner, said the contract with the National Electric Power Company of Jordan (NEPCO) was for 300 million cubic feet (8.5 million cubic metres) per day over a 15-year term.

Comments 3
Missing phillipo 03 October 2016, 13:27

At least the Jordanian government realises the advantages of co-operation with Israel in the field of natural gas.
Not only will it make certain that each and every Jordanian household will have enough gas for its private purposes, but will also save the government $9,000 Million over the 15 years of the contract, which will almost certainly be used for further development of the country.
Now look what Lebanon is missing out on.

Default-user-icon Nicholas (Guest) 03 October 2016, 14:24

Lebanon has been sitting on this off-shore question for years, crippled by sectarian squabbling. This exemplifies everything that's wrong with the paralyzed government. People say Lebanon is best off without a government? No. The possibility of providing its own source of energy is a good example of what having a functional government might have done for the country.

Thumb chrisrushlau 03 October 2016, 17:29

Jordan's king, Juliano "Ralph" al Thani, uses the nom-de-guerre "Jordan", just as his brother monarch Salman in neighboring Saudi Arabia goes by the nickname "Saudis". They want the news headlines to be strictly accurate.