At a press conference held in Cairo on Monday (October 1st), Egypt's Petroleum Minister gave details of an oil pipeline to be constructed between the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean Sea.
At a press conference held in Cairo on Monday (October 1st), Egypt's Petroleum Minister gave details of an oil pipeline to be constructed between the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean Sea. The 207-mile (333 km) pipeline will bypass the Suez Canal, which has been blocked by sunken ships since the 1967 war between Israel and the Arabs.
The Minister, Mr Ahmed Hilal, told newsmen that construction would begin in January 1974. The contract for the pipeline has been awarded to a giant United States company, the Bachtel Corporation. An earlier project by a consortium of 16 firms from seven countries was scrapped by the Egyptian Government.
The pipeline, which will cost 345 million dollars (143 million sterling), should be finished within two years, and will carry a maximum load of 80 million tons of crude oil a year.
An Egyptian newspaper says the pipeline will give Egypt its first chance of acting as an oil transit country, bringing in at least 150 million dollars (62 million sterling) in revenue a year.
The 42-inch (106 cm) diameter pipeline will run from Ein Sokhna on the Gulf of Suez, to Sidi Krier, west of the Egyptian port of Alexandria. Oil refineries, destroyed at Suez by Israeli military action, have been rebuilt near Alexandrie.
Political observers in Cairo feel the American tender was accepted not only because of its low cost, but also because an American-built pipeline would obviously enjoy greater security from Israeli attack.
SYNOPSIS: The Suez Canal has remained closed to shipping since the 1967 war between Israel and Egypt. Its closure cut off the most direct route for oil tankers sailing between the Middle East and Europe. The alternative route a much longer one, has been round Africa's Cape of Good Hope. Now there are plane to short-circuit this route.
On Sunday, Egypt's Ministry of Petroleum announced plans to construct an oil pipeline across the country, from the Gulf of Suez to the Mediterranean.
On Monday, the Minister gave details of the pipeline to newsmen. Construction will begin in January, and the 207-mile long pipeline will be completed within two years, at an estimated cost of 345 million dollars. The Minister announced that construction would be carried out by a large American company that has considerable experience in pipeline construction in the Middle East.
The pipeline will eventually carry 80 million tons of crude oil from a terminal in the Gulf of Suez to another terminal, and oil refineries, near the Mediterranean port of Alexandria. According to a Cairo newspaper, the pipeline should bring in revenue of about 150 million dollars a year. Some observers feel that by being American-built, the pipeline will enjoy greater protection from Israeli attack.