Egypt’s natural gas pipeline to both Israel and Jordan suffered still another setback during the night when a third act of sabotage caused an explosion. This is three attacks since the beginning of the popular uprising in Egypt in February this year. The most recent, said by Egyptian security authorities to have been caused by men armed with machine guns caused the ill fated pipeline to blow apart again with “an explosive boom” that frightened people living in the vicinity and resulted in a “plume of fire” after the saboteurs, who had arrived in a small truck, forced security forces to leave and then planted explosive charges. Not being able to prevent this kind of attack doesn’t bode well for anyone who thinks about investing in Egypt’s future, even in renewables like solar energy.
Offshore gas fields in eastern Mediterranean
The other two acts of sabotage, occurred on April 27 and on February 5. Both of these attacks also caused the pipeline to explode and has resulted in Israeli energy authorities shifting their attention to drilling for gas in offshore gas fields in the eastern Mediterranean.
This third incident, already reported in numerous media sites like CNN may be the beginning of the end for Egyptian energy shipments to both Israel and Jordan. It also begs the question at just how effective Egyptian security forces are at securing its country’s assets.
Jordan, which itself may be on the brink of a popular uprising against the ruling Hashimite family, is still planning to construct a nuclear power plant to supply some of its energy needs. Canada, France, Japan, and Russia are interested in bidding for the tender to construct the 1,100 MW nuclear plant in Jordan, now said to be slated to be built outside Amman.
Jordan, which has also been a recipient of the Egyptian gas shipments, is looking into nuclear energy to supplement its energy needs, which now have to rely on imported oil, as well the Egyptian gas shipments. With all the recent attention that has been given to nuclear energy, in light of the Japan Fukushima nuclear disaster in which three reactor cores melted down, it is hoped that Jordan will reconsider turning to nuclear energy as a viable energy option.
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