Egypt starts natural gas exports to Syria

Egypt has begun sending natural gas to Syria via a pipeline that extends through Jordan as part of a larger project to export Egyptian gas to the Middle East and, eventually, Europe.

Eric Watkins
Senior Correspondent

LOS ANGELES, July 13 -- Egypt has begun sending natural gas to Syria via a pipeline that extends through Jordan as part of a larger project to export Egyptian gas to the Middle East and, eventually, Europe.

Sufian Allaw, Syria's oil minister, said the new line would provide his country with 88.3 MMcfd of gas, eventually rising to 212 MMcfd over the next 9 years.

Egypt has agreed to supply Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria with gas for 30 years under terms of the $2.1 billion, 1,200-km Arab Gas Pipeline Project, which was signed in 2001.

The first phase of the project, linking Egypt with Jordan's Red Sea port of Aqaba, was finished in 2003, with the pipeline passing under the Gulf of Aqaba to avoid crossing Israeli territory.

In 2005, under the second phase of construction, the pipeline was extended to the Jordanian town of Rihab, north of the capital Amman.

Egypt has been exporting nearly 99 bcf/year of gas to Jordan under a 15-year agreement.

The third phase brought the pipeline to Syria's Deir Ali electric power station south of Damascus, according to Allaw. Further extensions are planned to Lebanon and Turkey, where the line will be connected to the planned Nabucco Pipeline for the delivery of gas to Europe.

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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