Egypt will appeal the ruling of the Geneva-based International Chamber of Commerce to pay the Israel Electric Corporation (IEC) and Eastern Mediterranean Gas company (EMG) $1.7 billion and $288 million respectively, plus interest and legal expenses. Both IEC and EMG turned to international arbitration after Egypt in 2012 disconnected the gas pipeline in the Sinai, effectively killing a 20-year agreement.
The state-owned Egyptian Petroleum Company (EGPC) and Gas Company (EGAS) announced they plan to appeal the ruling through the legal consultant Shearman & Sterling LLP, Al Ahram reported Sunday.
Meanwhile, the Egyptian government decided to suspend negotiations and freeze the issuing of permits to companies importing gas from Israel. Egypt’s privately-owned Dolphinus Holding had signed a preliminary agreement with Delek Drilling and Avner Oil and Gas to import gas from Israel’s Leviathian field after production begins, probably in 2019.
Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud) told reporters on Sunday that “Israel must reach a rapid development of the gas fields that were discovered, in order to finally get a decent level of energy security. Therefore, we will continue promoting the export options, not only to Egypt but also to other countries in the region, such as Jordan, Greece and Turkey, and to countries in Western Europe.” Steinitz responded to Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail’s announcement that the negotiations over the import of natural gas from Israel are suspended.
Steinitz added that Israel attaches great importance to the full range of its security and energy ties with Egypt and hopes that “because of our close, bilateral relations, we’ll be able to continue to move forward on the gas issue even during the coming months.”