An Israeli company says Thursday it has started exporting gas from an offshore field to Jordan, the country’s first ever exports of natural gas.
The exports to Jordan began in January, Delek Drilling — part of a consortium leading the development of Israel’s offshore gas reserves — tells AFP.
There was no formal announcement at the time but it is the first time Israel has ever exported natural gas, a company spokeswoman says.
Jordanian firms Arab Potash and Jordan Bromine signed a deal in 2014 to import 2 billion cubic meters (around 70 billion cubic feet) of gas from Israel’s Tamar field over 15 years.
At the time reports said the deal was worth $771 million.
Jordan is one of only two Arab countries to have a peace deal with Israel but the 1994 agreement is unpopular among Jordanians — almost half of whom are of Palestinian origin.
However, the resource-poor Arab country has few alternatives to tackle shortages.
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.