Egypt, Israel are closer to settle gas arbitration case: minister

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An arbitration case between Egypt and Israel over a defunct natural gas deal could be solved in the coming months, but that the issue was not holding back cooperation in the sector, according to Israel’s energy minister.

In 2015, the International Chamber of Commerce ordered Egypt to pay state-owned Israel Electric Corp about $1.8 billion in compensation after a deal to export gas to Israel via pipeline collapsed in 2012 due to attacks by insurgents in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula.

Egypt appealed the decision and a final agreement has yet to be reached, though earlier this month Israel Electric said they were close to reaching an agreement in which Egypt would pay it $500 million over eight and a half years.

“I think there is already a final understanding, but it needs approval of the Israeli electric authority and maybe also of someone on the Egyptian side,” Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said in an interview with Reuters. “Probably it’s an issue of a few months.”