Skip to main content

Jordanians fuming over gas deal with Israel

Jordanians have taken to the streets in opposition to a deal quietly reached between Jordan and Israel to supply the kingdom with energy, with critics saying the agreement will validate and increase reliance on Israel.
Jordanian protesters carry the Jordanian national flag, and chant slogans during a protest against a government agreement to import natural gas from Israel, in Amman, Jordan, September 30, 2016. REUTERS/Muhammad Hamed - RTSQ7CS

Not since the popular demonstrations of the Arab Spring in 2011, when protesters demanded political reforms, have Jordanians come together behind a common cause. This time, they rallied to denounce the signing of an agreement between Jordan’s National Electric Power Co. (NEPCO) and a US firm, Noble Energy, which is responsible for developing Israel’s largest offshore gas field. The $10 billion, 15-year deal was announced Sept. 26, almost a week after the kingdom held national legislative elections on Sept. 20 and more than a month before the new parliament is scheduled to convene.

The agreement to supply NEPCO with 300 million cubic feet of natural gas per day — almost 3 billion cubic feet annually— will go into effect in 2019. This figure represents 40% of NEPCO’s liquefied natural gas needs. The company supplies the gas to local electricity companies, which generate 85% of the kingdom’s power. Details regarding responsibility for building the pipeline between Jordan and Israel and its cost have not been disclosed.

Access the Middle East news and analysis you can trust

Join our community of Middle East readers to experience all of Al-Monitor, including 24/7 news, analyses, memos, reports and newsletters.


Only $100 per year.