Jordan aims to import a third of its gas from Egypt

Jordan began importing natural gas from Egypt two months ago. (Shutterstock)
Updated 13 November 2018
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Jordan aims to import a third of its gas from Egypt

  • Jordan began importing natural gas from Egypt two months ago
  • Increasing imports significantly would depend on construction of a pipeline between Jordan and Iraq which has yet to be built

DUBAI: Jordan aims to increase natural gas imports from Egypt to cover a third of its demand eventually, the Jordanian energy minister said on Tuesday.
Jordan began importing natural gas from Egypt two months ago but increasing imports significantly would depend on construction of a pipeline between Jordan and Iraq which has yet to be built.
Hala Zawati, Jordanian minister of energy and mineral resources, estimated Jordan’s gas demands in 2019 at around 350 million cubic feet per day.
“Jordan started receiving natural gas from Egypt since September. It’s on (an) experimental basis for the pipeline but we hope in the beginning of 2019 to increase these amounts,” she said.
“We have not yet agreed with Egypt. Now there are negotiations on how much will be pumped but we hope at least one third of the country’s requirements will be taken from Egypt,” she added, without giving a timeframe for reaching that goal.
Asked about the pipeline which will eventually connect the southern city of Basra in Iraq with Jordan’s Red Sea port of Aqaba, Zawati said: “We’ve had discussions with Iraq that started years ago. It was approved by the Jordanian cabinet, and now we are waiting for the Iraqi side to start working on the pipeline.”
“It’s still there as an idea but has not (yet) materialized... the political situation did not allow for that pipeline to materialize.”


Lebanon’s Hariri calls for cabinet solidarity in budget debate

Updated 18 June 2019
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Lebanon’s Hariri calls for cabinet solidarity in budget debate

  • The PM said cabinet ministers need to be united and responsible
  • Lebanon’s debt is almost 150% of its GDP

BEIRUT, June 18 : Lebanon Prime Minister Saad Al-Hariri on Tuesday called for parliament to quickly approve the country’s 2019 budget and urged his coalition government to avoid internal disputes.
The cabinet this month agreed a budget plan that shrinks the projected fiscal deficit by 4 percentage points from last year to 7.6% by cutting spending and raising taxes and other fees.
“What I want during the debate is for us to be responsible and united, and not contradictory,” Hariri said in a statement, addressing cabinet ministers as to their comportment during the parliament debate.
Parliament’s finance committee is debating the draft budget and has suggested amendments, local newspapers reported. It will then put the budget to the full assembly to ratify it.
Parliament is mostly composed of parties that are also present in the coalition government and which supported the budget there.
Since the budget was agreed there have been fierce arguments between parties in the coalition over several subjects, though these have not targeted the budget.
Lebanon has one of the world’s heaviest debt burdens, equivalent to about 150% of GDP, and the International Monetary Fund has urged it to cut spending.
“We have held 19 cabinet meetings to agree on this draft budget and these sessions were not for fun, but for deep, detailed debate over every clause and every idea,” Hariri said.
“For this reason, I consider it the responsibility of each of us in government to have ministerial solidarity...to defend in parliament the decision that we have taken together,” he added.
After the 2019 budget is agreed, the cabinet must quickly start working on the 2020 budget and on approving the first phase of a program of investments toward which foreign donors have offered $11 billion in project financing. (Reporting by Angus McDowall, editing by Ed Osmond)