By SUMMER SAID
Egypt is still talking with some Arab oil and gas producers
to secure fuel supplies to ease its shortages, Egypt's new oil
minister Sherif Haddara said after local media reports
suggested the deals are collapsing.
The negotiations with Qatar, Iraq, and Libya, members of the
Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries are still
ongoing in order to secure the best formula to serve the
interest of Egypt," Mr. Haddara said in a statement.
Egypt agreed in principle with gas rich Qatar on a swap deal
under which, BG Group and PETRONAS will give the North African
country about 500 Mcf/day of the natural gas they extract to
help ease its fuel shortage, while Qatar Gas will send the LNG
directly to the companies' overseas customers.
It also made preliminary deals with Libya and Iraq to secure
close to 5 MMbbl a month but the terms of the agreements are
yet to be finalized.
Local media reports said earlier this week that talks with
Qatar and Iraq have stalled due to disagreements over payment
A Cabinet statement said that Egyptian General Petroleum
will ink a deal with Libya to import 30,000 bpd of crude for a
year but did not specify the financial terms of the
Libyan officials were not reachable for comment.
Egypt has been facing a diesel shortage since last year,
leading to rising food costs, long queues at filling stations
and electricity blackouts.
The fuel crisis has compounded broader economic problems in
the country, which in 2011 overthrew the government of Hosni
Mubarak in a popular uprising, paving the way for the electoral
victory of the Muslim Brotherhood. Egypt has been facing a drop
in its hydrocarbon production as well as a
slowdown in oil and gas exploration activities over the past
couple of years as a result of the continuing civil unrest
since the ousting of Mr. Mubarak.
Mr. Haddara said the country has a long term plan to lift its
crude production to 1 MMbpd from the current 680,000 bpd and
gas output to 7.5 Bcfpd from 5.7 Bcfpd but he did not give a
timeframe for the plan.
Dow Jones Newswires