(MENAFN - Jordan Times) An Egyptian pipeline carrying gas to Jordan and Israel was bombed on Sunday, the 10th such attack this year, but no fire erupted because the line that runs through north Sinai was already disabled, a security source said.
The blast took place in an area five kilometres south of the Mediterranean coastal town of Al Arish, Reuters reported.
"The attack was carried out using remote-controlled explosives by unidentified assailants who arrived at the scene," the source said.
No group has claimed responsibility for the series of pipeline attacks since a popular uprising toppled Hosni Mubarak in February. One attack took place just before he was ousted.
The latest blast broke the pipe, but no flames were seen as gas pumping has been halted since the last attack on November 28.
The Egyptian government said in November it would tighten security measures along the pipeline by installing alarm devices and recruiting security patrols from bedouin tribesmen in the area.
Security in Sinai loosened after Mubarak's fall as the police presence thinned out across Egypt.
Jordan is set to move away from Egyptian gas due to the growing unreliability of the country's main energy source, officials have said.
Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Qutaiba Abu Qura announced last week that the ministry is intensifying efforts to secure alternatives to Egyptian gas, on which Jordan relies for 80 per cent of its electricity generation needs, adding that the resource will not factor in the Kingdom's future energy plans.
But officials denied that Jordan has formally withdrawn its support for an amended gas agreement with Cairo, under which Egypt is expected to triple gas prices.
Economists say the series of attacks have had a direct impact on Jordan, with the series of disruptions pushing the national energy bill to record levels, over JD4 billion, and expected to widen the National Electric Power Company's budget deficit to JD1.4 billion by the end of the year.
According to officials, a ministerial team is to travel to Cairo "soon" to review the issue of gas supplies with their Egyptian counterparts before Jordan formally moves to end its decade-long reliance on Egyptian gas.