Lebanon asks Jordan to allow Qatari gas delivery
"Jordan responded with its initial approval," the Jordanian Energy Minister Saleh Al-Kharabsheh said on local radio. "In principle, there is no problem."
Liquefied natural gas would be shipped to Jordan through the port of Aqaba on the Dead Sea and transported by pipeline to Lebanon, likely through Syria. Qatar is the world's biggest exporter of liquefied natural gas.
Lebanese President Michel Aoun met with Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamin bin Hamad Al-Thani in Doha last week. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations and Qatar's support for Lebanon, which is currently being ostracised by other Gulf monarchies over concerns about Hezbollah's growing role in Lebanese politics.
Beirut's request comes roughly three months after Egypt, Jordan, Syria, and Lebanon agreed to supply Egyptian natural gas to Lebanon by pipeline through Syria and Jordan. The pipeline had been halted 10 years ago due to shortages and technical issues, as well as the war in Syria.
Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said mid-October that Egypt expects to start exporting 60 million to 65 million cubic feet of gas per day to Lebanon by 2022. But officials have pointed to the need to do maintenance on Syrian infrastructure in order to carry the gas to Lebanon after a 10-year hiatus.
Lebanon is witnessing an economic crisis described as one of the world’s worst since the 1850s. The collapse of the Lebanese lira and a shortage of liquidities have left it unable to import basic goods, notably to generate electricity.
At the end of November, Jordan and Egypt announced an agreement to raise the electricity capacity between the two countries from 500 to 1,000 megawatts.
The move will strengthen the links between Egypt and Jordan's power grids and help supply neighbouring countries with electricity.
This growing Arab cooperation to deliver energy to Lebanon through Syria represents a significant warming of relations with the Assad regime. Most Arab states cut diplomatic ties or limited relations with Damascus to security collaboration during the 10-year civil war in Syria.