Historic deal approved for export of natural gas to Jordan

(Israel Hayom/Exclusive to JNS.org) Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Energy and Water Minister Silvan Shalom, and Petroleum Commissioner Alexander Varshavsky have approved a deal to export natural gas to private customers in Jordan.

An aeriel view of the Israeli gas rig Tamar, situated about 80 km off the Israeli northern coast. Tamar was the first large-scale hydrocarbon resource discovered in international waters and claimed by Israel. After more than four years of drilling, the flow of natural gas from the Tamar gas field has begun. Credit: Albatross Aerial photography/Nobel Energy/FLASH90.

The deal calls for Israel's Tamar partnership to export 1.8 billion cubic meters (BCM) of gas to Jordan Bromine Company Ltd. and to the Arab Potash Company, located on the Jordanian side of the Dead Sea. The deal is expected to remain in effect for 15 years and is assessed to be worth half a billion dollars.

Representatives of the energy partnership said that this was the first time the Israeli government had approved a gas export contract with the goal of strengthening relations with neighboring countries.

Speaking on Thursday, Shalom called the Jordanian deal a "historic agreement [that is] meaningful for Israel's foreign relations and which is an opening for other deals with nations in the region.

"The deal is part of Israel's natural gas export strategy, and I am hopeful that it will soon be implemented despite the difficulties of these past few months. This is a first, but very significant, deal that will bolster Israel's international standing as an energy power," the minister said.

The Tamar partnership recently signed another contract to export at least 5 BCM of gas valued at some $1.2 billion to Egypt's Dolphinus Holdings for an initial period of three years. Under the terms of the deal, Israel will export the gas to Egypt, a move that is expected to help that country address its severe energy crisis.

Posted on April 3, 2015 .