The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources concluded a deal with Algeria to increase the quantity of imported gas by 50 per cent. Despite a domestic gas crisis, Egypt will be importing gas, in order to export it to other countries.
The government is seeking to import approximately 500 million cubic feet of gas daily from Algeria, starting next May.
The Algerian minister of foreign affairs, Mourad Medelci, said “Algeria and Egypt have excellent relations in the field of energy” and that “this deal is of major importance for both countries,” reported the daily Algerian newspaper, Le Financier.
Minister of Petroleum, Osama Kamal, refused to comment on the matter.
Reuters reported earlier that Egypt has agreed to import gas from Algeria, to meet its own export contractual agreements amidst a rise in domestic demand. Currently, Egypt has two liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants and a pipeline to export gas but the government has been using some of the gas destined for exportation to the local market to bridge the energy deficit, which resulted in rolling blackouts last summer.
These conditions, in addition to the multiple bombings of the gas pipeline running through Sinai to Jordan and Israel, forced the halting of gas exports in mid-October of 2011.
Jordanian Minister of Energy, Alaa Batayneh, issued a statement last Monday confirming that Cairo recognises its responsibilities to supply energy to Amman, and that Cairo will be able to indicate the quantity of gas it is capable of providing for increased exports.
Prime Minister Hisham Qandil stated in a news conference last Wednesday, that Egypt is negotiating with Qatar to import LNG to help satisfy fuel requirements, reported Zawya.
The negotiations reached a deadlock when the Qatari side said that Qatar is committed to long-term contracts with international oil companies and that Egypt should negotiate with those companies. The companies however, fix their prices at a rate that Cairo cannot afford.
The former chairman of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), Mohamed Shoeib, told the media on Friday that Qatar ignored his official request to import LNG,adding Egypt has alternative gas markets.