The Arab Gas Pipeline is a considered a remarkable model for strategic Arab cooperation projects. It is a strategic and economic artery between Egypt, Jordan and Syria and between Africa, Asia and Europe in future phases. The importance of the Arab Gas Pipeline stems from being one of the most important projects for the Egyptian national economy, as it achieves the national goal of increasing Egypt's imports. In addition, it represents a turning point in the history of petroleum industry in Egypt that marks the start of exporting natural gas.
The First Phase:
It runs from Arish in Egypt to Aqaba in Jordan with a total length of 265 km, 36 " diameter and a capacity of 10 billion cubic meters per year. It consists of a 15 kilometers long subsea segment running under the Gulf of Aqaba in water depth of 850m.This phase was accomplished and operated in a record time of 18 months. President Hosny Mubarak and King Abdallah the second of Jordan inaugurated the first phase on the 27th of July 2003, giving the start up signal of exporting Egyptian gas to Aqaba in Jordan. The investment cost of the first phase is about 200 million dollars.
The Second Phase:
The Egyptian Jordanian Al Fajr Company executed the second phase which extends from Aqaba port to El Rehab in Jordan (30 kilometers from the Jordanian Syrian borders) with a length of 390 km and 36 inch diameter. This phase was accomplished in 18 months instead of the contractual date 33 months, in April 2007 .In February 2006 Samra and El Rehab power stations in Jordan were supplied by natural gas. The investment cost of the second phase is about 300 million dollars.
The second phase passed by different stages. First, the Jordanian Ministry of Energy offered a bid to implement the second phase of the Arab Gas Pipeline and it was awarded to the Egyptian consortium (It consists of the Petroleum sector companies: EGAS-Ennpi-Petrojet-Gasco) since its offer was technically and financially outstanding.
Al Fajr carried out studies to provide the large industries with natural gas as a fuel alternative. An economic and technical study to establish a network to supply Aqaba factories with natural gas was carried out .It was scheduled to start implementing this network in the beginning of 2006. Moreover, a field survey of the industrial zones in Jordan was carried out and the future outlets feeding the industrial cities and the large factories were specified.
Al Fajr Co and Developing the Aqaba Co signed a Memorandum of Understanding to maximize the usage of natural gas in Aqaba, through a company to establish, operate, manage and maintain networks which transmit and deliver natural gas to houses and stores in the region. Al Fajr is currently undertaking the technical studies required to execute the networks feeding the houses, hotels and stores.
Within the framework of an integrated plan aiming at generalizing the usage of compressed natural gas all over the kingdom, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed by Al Fajr and Developing the Aqaba Co in order to supply Aqaba with this service including conversion, maintenance, and service centers.
The Third Phase:
Al Fajr Egyptian Jordanian Company for natural gas transmission executed this phase which runs from EL Rehab in Jordan to the Jordan-Syria borders with a total length of 30 km, a 36 " diameter and about 35 million dollars investment. The pipeline transmits the Egyptian gas through the Jordan-Syria Borders to Syria, Lebanon, and Turkey and from there to Europe. Pumping gas to Syria started on 9/7/2008.
The Forth Phase:
In the beginning of 2008 Syria completed the forth phase of the project which runs from Jordan-Syria borders to Homs, at a length of 330 km and a 36 " diameter. In the future it may extend through Syria to Syria-Turkey borders aiming at connecting the Arab Gas Pipeline with the Turkish gas network.
Supplying Lebanon with gas:
On 7/9/2009 an agreement to transport/exchange the Egyptian gas to Lebanon through Syria was signed by the Egyptian Petroleum
General Corporation, Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company, Syria's General Petroleum Corporation and the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water (as a witness).Under the agreement ,Lebanon was supplied by gas starting from September 2009 through exchanging the Egyptian gas with the Syrian gas. A contract to operate and maintain the gas pipeline feeding Lebanon was signed on 14/6/2009 by GASCO and the Lebanese Ministry of Energy and Water.