by WorldTribune Staff, March 3, 2017
Israel in January began exporting natural gas to Jordan, one of only two Arab countries Israel has a peace deal with.
There was no formal announcement at the time, but it is the first time Israel has ever exported natural gas, a spokeswoman Delek Drilling – part of a consortium leading the development of Israel’s offshore gas reserves – told AFP..
In 2014, Jordanian firms Arab Potash and Jordan Bromine signed a deal reportedly worth $771 million to import 2 billion cubic meters (around 70 billion cubic feet) of gas from Israel’s Tamar field over 15 years.
The 1994 peace agreement with Israel is unpopular among Jordanians and its main opposition Islamist party rejects any cooperation with a country they regard as an enemy.
Israel historically had few natural resources but has discovered a series of offshore gas fields in recent years.
In September 2016, a larger deal worth an estimated $10 billion was signed to export gas from the Leviathan offshore field to Jordan.
In the face of protests, Jordanian Information Minister Mohamed Momani defended the deal, telling state television it would cut $600 million a year from the state’s energy bill.
Deliveries from Leviathan are expected to begin in 2019.