Egypt hopes to pay $750 million in oil company arrears before year-end

Egypt seeks to pay off around $750 million of its debt to international oil companies by late December, Oil Minister Tarek el-Molla said on Tuesday.

“We’re working to make another payment before the end of this year but can’t determine a specific amount but we hope it to be worth $750 million.” El-Molla told private television channel CBC late Tuesday.

Once an energy exporter, Egypt has turned into a net importer in recent years, squeezed by declining production and increasing consumption.

Cairo has pledged to eliminate the arrears by the end of June 2019 and not accumulate more, part of efforts to draw new foreign investment to an energy sector that is attracting interest following several major gas discoveries.