Jordan parliament votes down Israel gas deal

Jordan parliament votes down Israel gas deal, lawmakers call on the government to look to other alternatives for securing the country's natural gas needs.

Jordan parliament votes down Israel gas deal
World Bulletin/News Desk
 
Jordan's House of Representatives, the lower house of parliament, voted down a draft agreement on Wednesday to purchase Israeli natural gas.

In September, Jordan's state-owned National Electric Power Company signed a memorandum of intent with U.S. firm Noble Energy, which manages Israel's Leviathan gas field.

The agreement aims to explore the possibility of providing Jordanian power plants with natural gas for a 15-year period starting in 2017.

At Wednesday's parliamentary session, lawmakers called on the government to look to other alternatives for securing the country's natural gas needs.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour told MPs that his government would seek to buy gas from Arab countries – even if this meant paying higher prices.

On Tuesday, Energy Minister Mohamed Hamed defended the proposed deal, insisting the agreement would not leave Jordan's economy hostage to foreign countries.

He argued that the Jordanian government had "limited choices" for securing the country's gas needs.

Hamed went on to say that Noble Energy had inked similar agreements to export gas with both the Palestinian Authority and Egyptian companies.

The Hashemite Kingdom continues to face significant economic challenges, including a costly energy bill – which exceeds $6.5 billion annually – and losses incurred by the state-owned National Electric Power Company that have reportedly reached a whopping $7 billion.

 

Last Mod: 10 Aralık 2014, 17:10
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