Jordan's Energy Minister Mohammad Hamed on Tuesday defended a recent agreement to buy Israeli gas, denying that the deal leaves the kingdom's economy hostage to other countries.
In September, Jordan's state-owned National Electric Power Company signed a memorandum of intent with American operator Noble Energy, which is managing the Israeli Leviathan gas field.
The agreement seeks to explore the possibility of providing Jordanian power plants with gas for 15 years beginning in 2017.
"Importing natural gas from Noble Energy will not leave the Jordanian economy hostage to any state," Hamed told a parliamentary session on Tuesday.
He said that the Jordanian government has "limited choices" for securing the country's gas needs.
The Jordanian minister said that Noble Energy had inked similar agreements with both the Palestinian Authority and Egyptian companies to export gas.
During Tuesday's session, several MPs expressed concerns over the signing of the agreement to buy gas from Israel, stressing that their country needs to find alternatives.
The MPs went on to call on the Jordanian government to annul the agreement with Noble Energy.
Jordan is facing significant economic challenges, including the costly energy bill – which exceeds $6.5 billion annually – and the losses incurred by the state-owned power company, which reached $7 billion.