Egypt nearing crude oil import deal with Iraq

Egypt is nearing an agreement to import crude oil from Iraq and is looking to other countries to help secure supply, said chairman of state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corp (EGPC) on Tuesday.

“We are now in the final stages with the Iraqi government and ministry of oil in Iraq to supply 1 million barrels per month, this will be a good way to secure our crude supplies,” EGPC’s Hadidi speaking at an oil conference EGYPS in Cairo.

Egypt’s search for additional crude oil supplies comes after Saudi Arabia’s state oil firm Saudi Aramco decided to halt shipments of oil products to the North African country last year.

The $23 billion Saudi aid deal had included 700,000 tonnes of refined oil products per month for five years, yet Aramco has never provided a reason for why the deal was halted.

Egypt has recently turned to the spot market to compensate for the missing products.

The EGPC announced earlier in January 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 in talks to import 1 million barrels per month of crude oil from Baghdad, which would then be refined into petroleum products in Egypt.

An Egyptian delegation plans to visit Iraq this month to work out final details.