Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla has announced that 12 new gas exploration agreements are being finalised after receiving parliamentary approvals.
The 12 agreements, worth a total of $1bn, were signed with international oil and gas giants, namely: Chevron, Italy’s Edison, BP, Total, Royal Dutch Shell, the US Nobel; Kuwait’s Foreign Petroleum Exploration Company; and the UAE’s Mubadala.
Moreover, a total of eight local exploration deals were signed by the Egyptian Natural Gas Company (EGAS), two of which are located in the eastern Mediterranean, and other six agreements in the western Mediterranean region.
Over the last six years, Egypt has signed a total of 84 oil and gas exploration agreements, which have garnered at least $15bn in investments, alongside a bonus signature of over $1bn to drill 351 wells.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s arrears to foreign oil companies decreased to $850m at the end of June, down from the $900m a year earlier, despite the impacts of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, El-Molla told Reuters.
Debt to foreign companies has been accumulating since 2008 when the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) became unable to pay for oil supplies extracted from local wells. The company’s financial situation deteriorated following the 25 January Revolution in 2011, leading to its recording $7bn in debts in 2013, its highest rate since 2008.
El-Molla had earlier told Daily News Egypt that Egypt has reduced debt to an unprecedented figure of $1.2bn at the end of fiscal year (FY) 2017/18. The minister added that the lowest figure had been $1.35bn, reported on 30 June 2010.