Israel began pumping an experimental supply of natural gas to Jordan via the Noble Energy Company, Jordan’s Petra national news agency reported.
The experimental pumping is to continue for three months, to test infrastructure prior to flow of commercial supply, according to Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (NEPCO).
“Israel is becoming for the first time in its history, an energy exporter,” said Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinetz, who gave approval for natural gas exports to Egypt in December.
“This is a historic day for Noble [Energy] and for the State of Israel. With the flow of gas from Leviathan, Israel has achieved a level of energy security that, only a few short years ago, would have been unimaginable,” said Bini Zomer, Noble’s vice president for regional affairs.
Although exports from Leviathan are not the first such exports to Jordan – Gas from the Tamar field has been pumped there for the past two years – it is on a much larger scale. Leviathan’s deal with Jordan is worth $10 billion, whereas that of the Tamar field is worth about $500 million.
Jordanian citizens and politicians protested the planned transfer of gas between the two nations earlier this week, and on Saturday, two electrical transformers in Jordan’s northern area of Irbid servicing a gas transfer station intended for the transport of the gas were torched.
In July Jordanian MP Tariq Khoury called upon Jordanians to “sign a code of honor to blow up the gas pipeline from Israel to the land of Jordan,” news agencies reported.
“This is a black day in the history of Jordan, and a crime against the nation and a national catastrophe that makes our sovereignty hostage to, and puts the energy sector into the hands of the Zionist occupation,” said the mainstream Islamic Action Front, the country’s main political opposition.