Egypt faces 7 lawsuits over gas supply hiatus

Seven lawsuits over Egypt's halting of its natural gas supplies through the Sinai pipeline are now being considered by international arbitrators, according to a source at the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum.

Since February, the Egyptian pipeline, which transfers gas to both Israel and Jordan, has seen six explosions caused by unknown attackers, the last being on 27 September.

Egyptian authorities have failed to announce the results of their investigations into the explosions, only blaming masked attackers and saying that the same technique was used for all the six attacks.

The source, who asked not to be named, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that the lawsuits were filed by shareholders in Eastern Mediterranean Gas (EMG), the company responsible for Egyptian gas exports to Israel.

He said the plaintiffs are demanding compensation for the halt in exports, which has been in effect since April. The petitions rely on an investment protection agreement they signed with Egypt, which enables them to resort to international arbitration for compensation in case of violations.

Polish, Turkish and British companies and investors have also taken a separate legal action, the source said.

The four share-holders, who include Ampal (American Israel Corporation), Thailand's state-owned PTT, the Israel-based Merhav Group, and US firm EGI, have previously brought cases against Egypt at the International Chamber of Commerce in Switzerland.

Translated from the Arabic Edition

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