Delivering Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria

In a meeting hosted by Jordan on 8 September 2021 in Amman, which included Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, the ministers of the Arab Gas Pipeline countries agreed to deliver Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon via Jordan and Syria, and to present an action plan and timetable for its implementation.

The Jordanian Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources, Hala Zawati, affirms the cooperation of the ministers participating in the meeting in the field of re-exporting Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon through Jordanian and Syrian territories, through the Arab Gas Pipeline.

Zawati says that “technical meetings were held on the sidelines of the ministerial meeting, during which the readiness of the infrastructure needed to transport natural gas in each of the four countries and the necessary technical requirements were studied, and it was agreed to present a clear action plan and timetable for the delivery of Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon, provided that the team finishes his work within a specified period, and that the results are submitted to be approved by consensus of the parties and to work on their content as soon as possible.

For his part, the Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tariq El-Molla, said that Egypt is addressing the issue under direct directives from President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, with the support of Lebanese people to overcome their energy crisis.

In turn, the Syrian Minister of Oil and Mineral Resources Bassam Tohme said that the Arab Gas Pipeline project, which has been clearly embodied on the ground since 2003, is one of the most important joint Arab cooperation projects, adding that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad directed to help overcome the difficulties faced by the Lebanese people in the field of energy.

The Lebanese Minister of Energy and Water, Raymond Ghajar, expressed his appreciation for the initiative to revive the quadripartite agreement to deliver Egyptian gas to Lebanon. He stressed that the success of the initiative depends on the cooperation between the four countries, with the support of the World Bank, which will provide the financial cover.

He expressed his hope that this cooperation would lead to the delivery of Egyptian gas to feed the 450-megawatt Deir Ammar plant, and that the agreement to connect electricity from Jordan would be revived.

It should be noted that the Egyptian gas was pumped through the Arab Gas Pipeline to Lebanon through Syria and Jordan from 2009 to 2011. The length of the Arab Gas Pipeline is about 1200 km and its beginning is from El-Arish in Egypt and then passes through Jordan through Aqaba Governorate, and then north to the Syrian border and from there to Homs, where it is then transferred to Lebanon. The pipeline has a capacity of more than 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually, but Egypt stopped pumping gas in 2011 due to the political and security conditions in the region.