Israel says it doesn't need Egypt's gas

Aug. 1, 2011 at 8:34 AM

JERUSALEM, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- Israel can do without natural gas from Egypt, an energy analyst said after saboteurs attacked a pipeline for the fifth time this year.

Attackers punched a hole in the Egyptian natural gas pipeline to Israel. The same pipeline was damaged in early July and supplies hadn't returned to normal levels.

Amit Mor, chief executive officer at energy consulting firm Eco Energy, told The Jerusalem Post that the latest attack targeted only gas destined for Israel and wouldn't have an impact on upstream consumers in Jordan, Syria and Lebanon.

"While important for geopolitical and economic reasons, Israel can do without that gas," he was quoted as saying.

The July attack came as the Israeli Public Utility Authority announced that electricity prices could go up 20 percent by 2012.

Major natural gas discoveries at the Tamar and Leviathan offshore fields have redefined the Israeli energy sector. Israel gets some of its electricity from gas supplied through Egyptian pipelines, though officials in April said the country must find ways to become self-sufficient in energy.

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