A huge explosion which erupted at the al-Sabil terminal in Egypt’s North Sinai area has apparently been brought under control, according to Gasco, the company that operates the pipeline.
The terminal provides natural gas to Israel and Jordan, according to Egyptian security officials.
Gasco president Majdi Tewfik said that a “technical committee” will be sent to assess the damage.
There were no reports of casualties.
Local security officials blamed armed gangs for the blast, which erupted just south of the town of El-Arish, and only about 50-kilometers from the Israeli border.
An unknown armed gang attacked the gas pipeline near Arish city, a security source told Reuters news.
Flames rose as high as 65 feet at the terminal, according to the state news agency MENA.
The Israeli National Infrastructure Minister Uzi Landau told army radio that the Sabil attack will not immediately impact Israel’s gas supply, nor would it result in cuts in electricity.
After that, the electricity board must find alternatives by using gas from Yam Tethys or by using coal or fuel oil, Landau said.
Yam Tethys is Israel's only existing gas field, which is almost depleted.
According to reports, Israel received 40 percent of its gas from Egypt.
Amos Gilad, an official at Israel's defense ministry, told Israeli radio that it is essential for the Egyptian government to follow a clear policy to ensure the provision of gas and to maintain the peace accord. The situation is very delicate; the only possible policy is to rely on the Egyptians.”
Similarly, the Jordanian energy minister Khaled Tuqan said power stations are now depending on heavy fuel and diesel to generate electricity.
According to press reports, Jordan imports about 240 million cubic feet of gas from Egypt daily, or 80 percent of its electricity needs. Syria also imports gas from Egypt.
Egypt began supplying Israel with gas in 2008 under terms of a 20-year contract. The deal is very controversial among Egyptians.
Danny Yatom, an Israeli intelligence analyst, said the dependence on Egypt for energy presents great risks for Israel.
We need to understand that this is a problem we're going to live with for a very long time, and we need to start preparing an alternative now, he told Israeli radio.