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Egypt: No Truth to Threats from Oil Companies

Source: 1/27/2016, Location: Africa

The Ministry of Petroleumís official spokesman Hamdi Abdel Aziz, denied what was published in a newspaper about threats made by 4 oil companies to withdraw their investments if the government delayed the payment of dues owed to foreign partners before the end of March.

He stressed that these statements were made by unnamed sources and had no basis in truth whatsoever. He added that the presence of accumulated dues from previous years does not present a threat whatsoever, especially since more than 50% of arrears were paid.

In fact, the debts to international oil companies were reduced from about $6.3b in December 2013 to about $3b by the end of December 2015.

He noted that the Ministry had announced more than once its commitment to continue paying these arrears, coordinating with the foreign partners in this regard. He also said the foreign partners totally understand the reasons that led to the accumulation of these dues in the previous period.

He emphasized that foreign oil companies operating in Egypt are continuing to inject their investments into exploration and development activities and are committed to the approved investment budgets planned for 2015/2016, totaling $7 billion.

He added that planned investments are expected to exceed $7 billion in 2016/2017 despite the challenges arising from the fall of world oil prices. Furthermore, 63 new petroleum agreements had been signed recently with major companies for oil and gas exploration, with minimum investments exceeding $14 billion.

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