An energy agreement bringing Iraqi crude oil to Egypt is being finalised and a first shipment of 1 million barrels per month will arrive in the last 10 days of March, Iraq’s ambassador in Cairo announced late Wednesday.
Speaking to state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram, Habib Mohamed Hadi al-Sadr said that Iraq’s State Oil Marketing Company (SOMO) had finalised signing an agreement to provide Egypt with crude and sent the documents to the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry for its signature. A schedule for deliveries has been agreed on.
Cairo’s search for additional crude comes after Saudi Arabia’s state oil firm Saudi Aramco halted shipments of oil products to Egypt last year.
The $23 billion Saudi aid deal had included 700,000 tonnes of refined oil products per month for five years. Aramco has not said why the deal was halted.
Egypt has turned to the spot market in recent months to make up for the missing products.
The state oil board EGPC last month announced it was seeking up to 1.012 million tonnes of gasoil for delivery in February and March compared to around 200,000 tonnes of gasoil per month before the Aramco cutoff.
Egypt has turned to Iraq in search of a longer term solution to make up for the shortfall, and is set to import 1 million barrels per month of crude oil from Baghdad, which would then be refined into petroleum products in Egypt.