Tarek El Molla, Egypt's Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources speaks during an interview with Reuters at his office in Cairo, Egypt, October 29, 2015 - REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
CAIRO – 31 January 2018: Egypt owed foreign oil companies operating in the country $2.4 billion by the end of June 2017, Petroleum Minister Tarek el-Molla said Wednesday during the inauguration of Zohr gas field.
The figure is significantly less than the $6.3 billion recorded in 2013, Molla said in December. The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) repaid $2.2 billion to international oil companies in June 2017.
Dues owed by the EGPC amounted to $ 3.5 billion by the end of March 2017.
In January, Egypt paid off $200 million in arrears owed to foreign oil companies and would pay another $550 million in February and March, Molla said this month.
Egypt has pledged to finish arrears by the end of June 2019 and not to accumulate more in a bid to attract new foreign investment to the energy sector.
Molla said during Zohr inauguration ceremony that his ministry has intensified exploration activities and has signed some 83 exploration agreements in the recent period.
President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi arrived in Port Said governorate Wednesday to witness the beginning of production from the country’s giant offshore Zohr field.
Italy’s Eni in December delivered the first gas from Zohr field, whose estimated 30 trillion cubic feet (tfc) makes it the biggest gas field in the Mediterranean.