Alexey Miller, Chairman of Gazprom Management Committee, has concluded his visit to Egypt. During the visit, A. Miller held talks with Dr. Ahmed Nazif, Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt, Sameh Fahmi, Minister of Petroleum, and Mohamed Ibrahim Tawila, Chairman of EGAS.
The parties discussed future Russia-Egypt cooperation prospects in oil and gas industries, and Gazprom's possible participation in hydrocarbon production, transportation, processing and sales projects currently under way in Egypt, including LNG production and supplies.
The parties also discussed the issue of resumption of construction of the underground pipeline linking Sinai Peninsula with Israel's coast. The proposals on a joint realization of the Arabian Natural Gas Pipeline were also discussed. This pipeline will link Egypt's natural gas producers with third countries consumers, including those in Syria, Lebanon and Cyprus.
The parties also reached an agreement to cooperate in personnel training and retraining.
Ahmed Nazif confirmed Egypt's leadership's commitment to support the development of business cooperation between Gazprom and Egypt's energy companies. After the talks, the Memorandum on cooperation development between Gazprom and EGAS was signed, and it stipulates creation of a working group to facilitate joint projects.
Egypt's proven natural gas reserves amount to 1.76 trillion cubic meters - the third largest in Africa after Nigeria and Algiers. Oil reserves amount to 500 million tons. Natural gas takes up to 42% of the energy balance of the country, oil - 50%, and hydro power generation - 8%.
Egypt's natural gas industry is rapidly developing, and production volumes doubled in the past four years reaching 31 billion cubic meters of gas annually. The International Egyptian Oil Company (IEOC) is the largest gas producer in Egypt. The national gas industry is managed by the state owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).
In 2003, the country started its exports of natural gas via the Egypt-Jordan gas pipeline. The first train of LNG production facility was brought into operation in the autumn of 2004. The country is actively developing its gas distribution network.