Egyptian gas pipeline explodes: Sabotage?

The explosion of a gas pipeline on Saturday raises concerns about energy supplies and subversive elements working in Egypt. At first thought to be an accident, reports are now claiming that saboteurs in northern Sinai attacked an Egyptian facility. The gas pipeline supplies both Jordan and Israel which Cairo was forced to turn off. No one has yet claimed responsibility.

Israel is expressing concerns about its natural gas supplies from Egypt and whether they could be threatened if a new regime takes power in Cairo. Egypt supplies about 40 percent of Israel’s natural gas most of which is used to produce electricity. Four Israeli firms signed this past December 20-year contracts worth up to $10 billion (7.4 billion euros) to import Egyptian gas.

Jordan is also in a precarious situation due to the cut in gas supplies. The country has switches its own power generating stations to burning fuel oil and diesel. Egyptian gas generates 80% of the kingdom’s electricity.
At the moment, Egypt has promised to have repairs done immediately and to have gas flowing within a week.

Russia Today – Feb 5/2011

An explosion went off at a gas terminal in Egypt’s northern Sinai Peninsula on Saturday, setting off a massive fire along a gas pipeline that transports gas to Israel and Jordan. Head of Egypt’s natural gas company said the fire was caused by a gas leak. Earlier, the governor of the region said he suspected "sabotage," but provided no details. Israeli officials said it was not clear whether the explosion affected the pipeline leading to Israel.

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