Mon, Feb 07, 2011 - Page 5 News List

Ampal plummets to a four-month low after Sinai explosion

ACT OF TERROR?State TV said ‘foreign hands’ caused the blast, while Egypt’s oil ministry attributed it to a gas leak. The fire has disrupted gas supplies


Ampal-American Israel Corp, Israel’s biggest supplier of natural gas, fell to the lowest level in almost four months after Egypt’s oil minister said Egyptian gas exports to Israel may be halted for as much as two weeks after an explosion damaged a pipeline in the Sinai Desert on Saturday.

The incident at El Arish in the northeastern Sinai was an act of “terror” carried out by “foreign hands,” state TV said, while the Egyptian Oil Ministry said a gas leak caused the blast.

Ampal-American and Merhav Group of Companies are partners in East Mediterranean Gas Co (EMG), which operates the pipeline to Israel.

The supply of gas to Israel has been interrupted by a fire in a facility not related to EMG and is expected to resume within a week, Ampal said yesterday.

The Israeli gas market is mainly supplied by Delek -Drilling-LP and Avner Oil Exploration-LP, which hold about 26 percent and 23 percent respectively, in the Yam Tethys project, IBI-Israel Brokerage and Investment Ltd analyst Guil Bashan said by telephone yesterday.

Delek Drilling rose 3.7 percent to 13.61 shekels (US$3.66) and Avner increased 4.5 percent to 2.465 shekels. Billionaire Isaac Tshuva’s Delek Energy Systems Ltd climbed 5.9 percent to 1,411 shekels, Isramco Negev 2 LP advanced 5.1 percent to 0.409 shekel and Ratio Oil Exploration 1992 LP gained 2.6 percent to 0.672 shekels.

The line to Israel has operated since 2008 and can supply up to 7 billion cubic meters a year.

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