Egypt to repay all debts to foreign oil companies by end-2019 – ministry sources

Egypt plans to repay all of its $1.2 billion debt to foreign oil and gas companies by the end of 2019, oil ministry sources said on Monday.

Egyptian government has been steadily repaying around $1 billion and $1.5 billion in debts to foreign companies over the past five years, the sources told Amwal Al Ghad. This brought the debts down to $1.2 billion in the financial year 2017-2018 which ended in June, from $6.3 billion in 2012.

The drop in debts has significantly helped the country to draw foreign investments in the oil sector and led to new oil and gas explorations and discoveries in the Mediterranean and the Western and Eastern deserts.

The new discoveries include the mammoth offshore Zohr natural gas field, which was discovered in the Mediterranean by the Italian oil giant Eni in 2015.

Zohr is believed to contain an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet per day, making it the largest ever natural gas field to be discovered in the Mediterranean.