Arab Gas Pipeline

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Arab Gas Pipeline
Location of Arab Gas Pipeline
Location of Arab Gas Pipeline
Location
Country Egypt, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey
General direction south-north
From Arish
Passes through Aqaba, Amman, El Rehab, Deir Ali, Damascus, Baniyas, Aleppo
To Homs, Tripoli, (Kilis)
General information
Type natural gas
Partners EGAS
ENPPI
PETROGET
GASCO
SPC
Commissioned 2003
Technical information
Length 1,200 km (750 mi)
Maximum discharge 10.3 billion cubic metres (360×10^9 cu ft)

The Arab Gas Pipeline is a natural gas pipeline in the Middle East. It exports Egyptian natural gas to Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon, with a branch underwater pipeline to Israel. It has a total length of 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) at a cost of US$1.2 billion.[1]

As of March 2012, the gas supply to Israel and Jordan stopped due to 13 separate attacks on GASCO's feeder pipeline to El-Arish that have taken place since the beginning of the 2011 Egyptian revolution—carried out by Bedouin complaining of economic neglect and discrimination by the central Cairo government.[2][3] By spring 2013 the pipeline returned to continuous operation, however, due to persistent natural gas shortages in Egypt, the gas supply to Israel was suspended indefinitely while the supply to Jordan was resumed, but at a rate substantially below the contracted amount.[4]

Description[edit]

Arish–Aqaba section[edit]

The first section of pipeline runs from Arish in Egypt to Aqaba in Jordan. It has three segments. The first 250 kilometres (160 mi) long overland segment links Al-Arish to Taba on the Red Sea. It also consists of a compressor station in Arish and a metering station in Taba. The second segment is a 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) long subsea segment from Taba to Aqaba. The third segment, which includes also a metering station, is a 1 kilometre (0.62 mi) long onshore connection to the Aqaba Thermal Power Station.[5]

The $220 million Arish–Aqaba section was completed in July 2003.[6] The diameter of the pipeline is 36 inches (910 mm) and has a capacity of 10.3 billion cubic metres (360 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per year.[7] The Egyptian consortium that developed this section included EGAS, ENPPI, PETROGET and the Egyptian Natural Gas Company (GASCO).

Aqaba–El Rehab section[edit]

The second section extended the pipeline in Jordan from Aqaba through Amman to El Rehab, (24 kilometres (15 mi) from the Syrian border). The length of this section is 390 kilometres (240 mi) and it cost $300 million.[8] The second section was commissioned in 2005.

El Rehab–Homs section[edit]

The third section has a total length of 319 kilometres (198 mi) from Jordan to Syria. A 90 kilometres (56 mi) stretch runs from the Jordan–Syrian border to the Deir Ali power station. From there the pipeline runs through Damascus to the Al Rayan gas compressor station near Homs. This sections includes four launching/receiving stations, 12 valve stations and a fiscal metering station with a capacity of 1.1 billion cubic metres (39 billion cubic feet), and it supplies Tishreen and Deir Ali power stations. The section was completed in February 2008, and it was built by the Syrian Petroleum Company and Stroytransgaz, a subsidiary of Gazprom.[9][10]

Homs–Tripoli connection[edit]

The Homs–Tripoli connection runs from the Al Rayan compressor station to Baniyas in Syria and then via 32-kilometre (20 mi) long stretch to Tripoli, Lebanon. The agreement to start supplies was signed on 2 September 2009 and test run started on 8 September 2009.[7] Regular gas supplies started on 19 October 2009 and gas is delivered to the Deir Ammar power station.[11]

There is a proposal to extend the branch from Banias to Cyprus.[12]

Arish–Ashkelon pipeline[edit]

The Arish–Ashkelon pipeline is a 100 kilometres (62 mi) submarine gas pipeline connecting the Arab Gas Pipeline with Israel. Although it is not officially a part of the Arab Gas Pipeline project, it branches off from the same pipeline in Egypt. The pipeline is built and operated by the East Mediterranean Gas Company (EMG), a joint company of Mediterranean Gas Pipeline Ltd (28%), the Israeli company Merhav (25%), PTT (25%), EMI-EGI LP (12%), and Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (10%).[13] The pipeline became operational in February 2008, at a cost of $180–$550 million (the exact figure is disputed).[14] Initially Egypt and Israel had agreed to supply through this pipeline 1.7 billion cubic metres (60 billion cubic feet) of natural gas per year for use by the Israel Electric Corporation.[15] This has since been raised to 2.1 billion cubic metres (74 billion cubic feet) per year to be delivered through the year 2028. In addition, by late 2009, EMG had signed contracts to supply through the pipeline additional 2 billion cubic metres (71 billion cubic feet) per year to private electricity generators and various industrial concerns in Israel and negotiations with other potential buyers were ongoing. In 2010, the pipeline is supplying approximately half of the natural gas consumed in Israel, with the other half being supplied from domestic resources. The total physical capacity of the pipeline is 9 billion cubic metres (320 billion cubic feet) per year and agreements between the two nations provide a framework for the purchase of up to 7.5 billion cubic metres (260 billion cubic feet) per year of Egyptian gas by Israeli entities, making Israel one of Egypt's most important natural gas export markets. In 2010 some Egyptian activists appealed for a legal provision against governmental authorities to stop gas flow to Israel according to the obscure contract and very low price compared to the global rates, however the provision was denied by Mubarak regime for unknown reasons. In 2011, after the Egyptian revolution against Mubarak regime, many Egyptians called for stopping the gas project with Israel due to low prices.[citation needed] After a fifth bombing of the pipeline, flow had to be stopped for repair.[16][17]

2012 cancellation[edit]

Following the removal of Hosni Mubarak as head of state, and a perceived souring of ties between the two states, the standing agreement fell into disarray. According to Mohamed Shoeb, the head of the state-owned EGAS, the "decision we took was economic and not politically motivated. We canceled the gas agreement with Israel because they have failed to meet payment deadlines in recent months". Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also said that according to him the cancellation was not "something that is born out of political developments". However, Shaul Mofaz said that the cancellation was "a new low in the relations between the countries and a clear violation of the peace treaty".[18]

Future extensions[edit]

Syria–Turkey connection[edit]

In 2006 Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Lebanon, and Romania reached an agreement to build the pipeline's extension through Syria to the Turkish border. From there, the pipeline would have been connected to the possible Nabucco Pipeline for the delivery of gas to Europe. Turkey forecasted buying up to 4 billion cubic metres (140 billion cubic feet) of gas per year from the Arab Gas Pipeline.[19] In 2008 Turkey and Syria signed an agreement to construct a 63 kilometres (39 mi) pipeline between Aleppo and Kilis as a first segment of the Syria-Turkey connection of the Arab Gas Pipeline[20][21] and Stroytransgaz signed a US$71 million contract for the construction of this section.[22] However this contract was annulled at the beginning of 2009 and it was re-tendered. From Kilis, a 15-kilometre (9.3 mi) long pipeline with a diameter of 12 inches (300 mm) would connect the pipeline with the Turkish grid thus allowing the Turkish grid to be supplied via the Syrian grid even before completing the Homs–Aleppo segment.

Connection with Iraq[edit]

In September 2004, Egypt, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon agreed to connect the Arab Gas Pipeline with Iraq's gas grid to allow Iraq to export gas to Europe.[8]

2011–2012 explosions[edit]

The Egyptian pipeline carrying natural gas to Israel and Jordan, has been attacked 15 times since the start of the uprising in early 2011 and 21 July 2012.[23] On November 13, Jordan Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said that "In the past 18 months of the Arab Spring, Jordan has lost between $4-5 billion [24] at least as a result of oil stoppage, especially the Egyptian gas supplies".[25][26]

Attacks

On 5 February, amidst the 2011 Egyptian protests an explosion was reported at the pipeline near the El Arish natural gas compressor station, which supplies pipelines to Israel and Jordan.[27][28][29][30][31] As a result, supplies to Israel and Jordan were halted.[32]

According to the governor of the North Sinai Governorate, "a gas station located near the blast site was not damaged and the explosion has not hit the residential areas".[33] State television laid the blame on perpetrators "who took advantage of the unstable security situation in the country".[28][33] However, according to the head of Egyptian Natural Gas Company, the explosion was caused by a gas leak and not by an attack.[34]

On 27 April 2011, an explosion at the pipeline near Al-Sabil village in the El-Arish region halted natural gas supplies to Israel and Jordan.[35] According to the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources unidentified saboteurs blew up a monitoring room of the pipeline.[36]

On 4 July 2011, an explosion at the pipeline near Nagah in the Sinai Peninsula halted natural gas supplies to Israel and Jordan.[37] An official said that armed men with machine guns forced guards at the station to leave before planting explosive charge there.[37] This is the third attack on Egyptian gas pipelines since an uprising overthrew Hosni Mubarak.[37] There was also a failed attempt to attack the pipeline in March.[37]

An overnight explosion on 26–27 September caused extensive damage to the pipeline at a location 50 kilometers from Egypt's border with Israel. As the pipeline had not been supplying gas to Israel since an earlier explosion in July, it did not affect Israel's natural gas supply. According to Egyptian authorities, local Bedouin Islamists were behind the attack.[38]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lebanon minister in Syria to discuss the Arab Gas Pipeline". Ya Libnan. 23 February 2008. Archived from the original on 28 February 2008. Retrieved 10 March 2008. 
  2. ^ Bar'el, Zvi (24 March 2012). "Economic distress, not ideological fervor, is behind Sinai's terror boom". Haaretz. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  3. ^ Elyan, Tamim (1 April 2012). "Insight: In Sinai, militant Islam flourishes - quietly". Reuters. Retrieved 1 April 2012. 
  4. ^ "Egyptian gas supply to Jordan stabilises at below contract rate". Al-Ahram . 3 June 2013. Retrieved 16 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Natural Gas Pipeline (Al-Arish – Aqaba). Project fact sheet". The Arab Fund for Economic and Social Development. Archived from the original on 5 April 2008. Retrieved 12 August 2008. 
  6. ^ "Arab gas pipeline agreement". Gulf Oil & Gas. 26 January 2004. Retrieved 5 October 2007. 
  7. ^ a b "Arab Gas Pipeline Primes Lebanon Branch". Oil and Gas Insight. 4 September 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  8. ^ a b "Iraq Joins the Arab Gas Pipeline Project". Gulf Oil & Gas. 26 September 2004. Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2007. 
  9. ^ "Syria Completes First Stage of Arab Gas Pipeline". Downstream Today. Xinhua News Agency. 18 February 2008. Retrieved 23 February 2008. 
  10. ^ "Stroitransgaz wins tender to build the third part of Arab gas pipeline". The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service. November 2005. Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
  11. ^ "Lebanon Receives Egypt Gas To Run Power Plant". Downstream Today. McClatchy-Tribune Information Services. 20 October 2009. Retrieved 24 October 2009. 
  12. ^ "Timetable for extending Arab gas pipelines inside Jordan and Syria discussed". ArabicNews.com. 25 September 2004. Archived from the original on 22 October 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2007. 
  13. ^ "PTT buys 25% of East Mediterranean Gas Co.". Oil & Gas Journal (PennWell Corporation). 7 December 2007. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  14. ^ Barkat, Amiram (27 September 2011). "IEC may seek partial ownership of Egyptian pipeline". Globes. Retrieved 2 October 2011. 
  15. ^ Shirkani, Nassir (10 March 2008). "Egyptian gas flows to Israel". Upstream Online (NHST Media Group). (subscription required). Retrieved 10 March 2008. 
  16. ^ "Egypt's Dilemma After Israel Attacks". Business Insider. Stratfor. 19 August 2011. Retrieved 20 August 2011. "Such groups, whose ability to operate in this area depends heavily on cooperation from local Bedouins, have been suspected of responsibility for attacks on police stations and patrols as well as most if not all of five recent successful attacks on the El Arish natural gas pipeline that runs from Egypt to Israel." 
  17. ^ Buck, Tobias; Saleh, Heba (18 August 2011). "Seventeen killed in Israel attacks". Financial Times (Jerusalem, Cairo). Retrieved 20 August 2011. "In the past six months, suspected Islamist militants in the Sinai have blown up a pipeline carrying natural gas to Israel five times." 
  18. ^ Sanders, Edmund (23 April 2012). "Egypt-Israel natural gas deal revoked for economic reasons". Los Angeles Times. 
  19. ^ "Ministers agree to extend Arab gas pipeline to Turkey". Alexander's Gas & Oil Connections. 29 March 2006. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 5 October 2007. 
  20. ^ "Syria to Buy Iranian Gas Via Turkey". Syria Times, BBC Monitoring (Downstream Today). 9 January 2008. Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
  21. ^ The Euro–Arab Mashreq Gas Market Project – Progress November 2007 (PDF). Euro-Arab Mashreq Gas Co-operation Centre. Retrieved 14 January 2008. 
  22. ^ "Russians Build Turkey-Syria Pipeline". Kommersant. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 26 October 2008. 
  23. ^ "Blast rocks Egypt's gas pipeline to Israel, Jordan". Reuters. 22 July 2012. 
  24. ^ A, SH (2012-11-13). "PM: Decision to liberalize fuel prices won't affect 70% of citizens". Amman,Jordan: Petra News Agency. Retrieved 01/12/2013. 
  25. ^ http://www.petra.gov.jo/Public_News/Nws_NewsDetails.aspx?Site_Id=1&lang=2&NewsID=90671
  26. ^ http://www.naturalgaseurope.com/jordan-interview-alaa-batayneh
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  28. ^ a b Blair, Edmund (5 February 2011). "Leaders inside, outside Egypt seek exit from impasse". Reuters. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
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  30. ^ Razzouk, Nayla; Galal, Ola (5 February 2011). "Egypt Gas Exports to Israel, Jordan Halted After Sinai Pipeline Explosion". Bloomberg. Archived from the original on 5 February 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
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  32. ^ "Egypt gas pipeline attacked; Israel, Jordan flow hit". Reuters. 5 February 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  33. ^ a b "Blast at Egypt gas pipeline". Sify.com. IANS/RIA Novosti. 5 February 2011. Archived from the original on 5 February 2011. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  34. ^ Kiley, Sam (5 February 2011). "Gas Leak Explosion At Egypt-Israel Facility". Sky News. Retrieved 5 February 2011. 
  35. ^ Saleh, Heba; Bekker, Vita (27 April 2011). "Gunmen attack Egyptian gas terminal". Financial Times. Archived from the original on 28 April 2011. Retrieved 27 April 2011. 
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  37. ^ a b c d "Blast hits Egyptian gas pipeline". Al Jazeera. 4 July 2011. Archived from the original on 4 July 2011. Retrieved 4 July 2011. 
  38. ^ "6th attack on Sinai gas pipeline". Globes. 27 September 2011. Retrieved 27 September 2011.