Egypt gets fined $2 bln in natural gas dispute with Italian company

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Egypt has been ordered to pay a $2 billion fine to the Spanish-Italian joint venture, Naturgy and Eni, over a shortage in gas supplies by the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes on Monday.

The ruling came after Egypt stopped supplying gas the Spanish-Italian joint venture’s Damietta LNG plant due to internal energy shortages, according to the Financial Times.

Union Fenosa Gas, which is part of the joint venture, had submitted the case in 2014, and the ICSID ruled that the country’s failure to provide the gas supplies was not “fair and equitable treatment.”

Citing sources, the newspaper reported that the fine is likely to be paid in the form of renewed gas supplies to the Damietta plant.

Gas supplies to the plant were halted four years ago.

The Italian oil company Eni had begun drilling an exploratory well at its Noor field in Egypt’s North Sinai in August, Egyptian oil ministry spokesman Hamdi Abel Aziz had announced.

Egypt’s cabinet approved the $105 million deal to explore the North Sinai region of the Mediterranean Sea in March.

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