Egyptian Minister of Petroleum spokesperson Hamdy Abdel Aziz said they will appeal the Swiss court decision of fining the ministry and the holding company for natural gas (EGAS) with USD 1.7 bn to Israel electricity company and USD 288 m to the Mediterranean Gas company on Sunday.
An international Swiss court issued a verdict after more than three years against Egypt when the Israeli company filed a lawsuit calling on Egypt to pay USD 4bn due to shortages caused in their natural gas supply after suspension of the 20 year long agreement of exporting gas from Egypt to Israel, which hindered their electricity exports, in the wake of January 25 uprising in 2011 and the constant attacks on the gas pipeline which followed the uprising.
Abdel Aziz told CNBC Arabia channel in a TV interview on Sunday, “the contract with Mediterranean Gas ended on 2012 for not paying delayed expenses and there are lawsuits filed against them because of that”.
“The ministry will suspend talks of some companies importing gas from Israel until all the appeal procedures are done,” he said.
In late November, partners in the Israeli Leviathan gas field announced in the Israeli stock market their initial short term agreement with an Egyptian company to supply it with gas. The Leviathan gas field is scheduled to launch in 2019/2020.
Italian energy giant Eni SpA says it has discovered the “largest ever” natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off Egypt. According to the company, the find could meet Egypt’s natural gas needs for decades to come.
Egypt witnessed a large shortage of natural gas, which mainly affected electricity and led to constant power cuts in 2013 and 2014. It also affected industries such as cement. This urged former prime minister Ibrahim Mehleb to include coal in the energy industry by the end of 2015.
After the 2011 revolution in Egypt, the Arab Gas Pipeline, which links Port Said and Al-Arish to the port of Aqaba, in Jordan, became a target for Sinai-based militant groups. It exploded for the 28th time last February.