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Jordan wants more Iraqi oil after Egypt gas cut

by Staff Writers
Amman (AFP) May 1, 2011
Jordan's energy minister said on Sunday he has asked Iraq to increase oil supplies to 30,000 barrels a day to meet its needs after Egyptian gas stopped flowing when a Sinai pipeline was attacked.

"I have sent a letter to the Iraqi oil minister and asked to increase the oil supplies from 10,000 barrels a day to 30,000," Khaled Tukan was quoted as saying by the government-owned Al-Rai newspaper.

"We are contacting other Arab countries to help and grant us oil."

Jordan imports about 240 million cubic feet (6.8 million cubic metres) of Egyptian gas a day, or 80 percent of its electricity needs.

But gas supplies have been halted since Wednesday's dawn attack near the village of Al-Sabil in the El-Arish region.

It is expected to cost Jordan $3.5 million (2.4 million euros) a day, officials said.

"The Egyptian side has told us that the pipeline will be fixed in two weeks, but we might get half of the supplies or less," Tukan said.

Oil-parched Jordan, which imports 95 percent of its energy needs, gets 10,000 crude oil barrels a day from Iraq at discount prices, and has repeatedly asked Iraq to increase the supplies.

Under the ousted Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, Jordan was entirely dependent on its eastern neighbour for its oil, importing 5.5 million tonnes a year, half free of charge and the rest at a preferential rate.

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