By Doaa Farid
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Sherif Ismail announced an agreement to import 1m barrels of crude oil monthly from Libya that will be refined in Egypt laboratories, according to state-run Al-Ahram.
The minister said this will save about 160,000 tonnes of oil products imported monthly, adding that the two countries agreed upon a grace period for up to one year to repay the shipments.
According to Al-Ahram, the United Arab Emirates has sent six petroleum shipments as part of its aid package, and that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait will notify the ministry about the shipment schedule for their aid packages to Egypt.
Mohamed Al-Sukkari, a researcher at the Egyptian Petroleum Research Institute said, however, that the amount of oil imported is “normal”. He explained that Egypt has more refining laboratories than it has petrol production centres, and must therefore import crude oil.
Ismail said the UAE will pay the value of the petroleum products shipments, diesel and gasoline which will be exported to Egypt until the end of July. The single shipment contains 35,000 tons of diesel and gasoline while 45,000 tons of fuel oil capacity.
The UAE has granted Egypt a $3bn aid package after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July, consisting of $1bn as a grant and $2bn as a deposit to the Central Bank of Egypt, in addition to an undetermined amount of oil aid.
Ismail also confirmed going ahead with plans to implement a smart card project for fuel sales, Al-Ahram reported.