Cairo to review natural gas contracts

March 24, 2011 at 8:23 AM

CAIRO, March 24 (UPI) -- The Egyptian government is examining contracts for natural gas sales that are linked to the prices of Brent crude, the petroleum minister said from Cairo.

Egyptian Petroleum Minister Mohamed Abdullah Ghorab said reviewing the contracts would better serve the interests of the country's energy sector as well as its people, reports Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm.

He said countries like Jordan and Israel are ready to review contracts with Cairo, noting Israel in 2008 had warmed to the idea of higher prices. Natural gas prices from Egypt are pegged to Brent crude.

The supply of natural gas from Egypt to Israel was suspended in early February after explosion on a natural gas pipeline between el-Arish and Ashkelon.

Israel gets about 20 percent of its electricity needs from the gas supplied through the Egyptian pipeline. Supplies from Egypt to Israel resumed March 15.

Egypt in 2005 agreed to supply Israel with 60 million cubic feet of natural gas every year for the next 15 years.

Ghorab said the Petroleum Ministry needed at least a month to review which contracts to revise.

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