Jordan scrambling after gas disruption

July 14, 2011 at 7:03 AM

AMMAN, Jordan, July 14 (UPI) -- It could take longer than a week for natural gas exports from Egypt to reach Jordan after another blast on a pipeline in the Sinai Peninsula, an official said.

A natural gas pipeline between Egypt to Israel and Jordan was attacked Tuesday for the fourth time in five months. Engineers said damage caused by a July 4 explosion on the same pipeline was nearly repaired.

Jordanian Energy Minister Khalid Touqan said Jordan expected gas supplies from Egypt to resume within 10 days after the Egyptians fix the pipeline network, which could take at least another week.

He said through the official Petra news agency that the Jordanian Petroleum Refinery Co. had more than 100,000 tons of heavy fuel on hand, enough to keep power stations running for 43 days. There was enough diesel fuel available to meet the grid's demands for 22 days if Egyptian gas disruptions continue, he added.

Jordan imports most of the energy it needs. Touqan said a delegation of energy officials is planning a visit to Iraq next week to discuss cooperation in the energy field.

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