Egypt loses $9 million per day in Israel gas deal

Egypt loses $9 million per day in Israel gas deal

CAIRO: Although widely unpopular in Egypt and demonstrations opposing it, an Egyptian-Israeli gas deal has come into affect after years of wrangling. The new deal will increase the export of Egyptian natural gas to the Jewish state and while the vast majority of Egyptians oppose the deal, the government went ahead and finalized the agreement.

The new expansion of the Egyptian Mediterranean Gas Company and the Israel Electric Corporation of a 2005 deal, will see Egypt lose an estimated $9 million daily as a result.

“This deal simply shows how far the Egyptian government is willing to go in order to do the things it wants irregardless of what its own population wants or things,” said Sameh Bayoumi, an official for the Muslim Brotherhood Parliamentary bloc, which has been outspoken in its criticism of the proposed deal.

According to news reports, officials at the Ampal-American Israel Corporation, which owns 12.5 percent of Egyptian Mediterranean Gas, said that the price of the gas has been raised in concert with growing energy prices throughout the world.

The original deal, inked in 2005, delivered 1.7 billion cubic meters of gas for a total of 34 billion cubic tons over a 20 year period.

Now, the new agreement, signed in September, is in effect this week. It is worth an estimated $6 billion and involves a higher price and an increased production to 42 billion tons over the 20 years.

Egyptian activists have been up in arms over the natural gas deal with Israel, saying the government is attempting to appease the Jewish state and Washington in order to ensure continued support for the regime. Members of Parliament have entered the fray in recent months, demanding that the deal be revoked and Egypt not get involved in selling gas to Israel.

A court decision this summer reversed an earlier decision that forbid the selling of gas, saying the Executive branch has the right to enter into international agreements without Parliament approval. The deal continues.