Tarek El-Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, said that the total investments of the Egyptian and foreign companies in underway and under-study petroleum projects have reached EGP 1.2trn over the past seven years.
El-Molla made this statement during his speech on Monday, which was delivered on his behalf by Magdy Galal, Chairperson of the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), during the opening session of the Fifth Al-Ahram Energy Conference entitled.
The session was held in the presence of Mohamed Shaker, Minister of Electricity and Renewable Energy; Mohamed Maait, Minister of Finance; and a group of leaders in the petroleum and electricity sectors, and Al-Ahram Foundation.
El-Molla said that 99 petroleum agreements were also signed with international companies in search for oil and gas during the same period, with investments of a minimum of $17bn, reflecting the increased investments of international petroleum companies operating in Egypt.
He pointed out that the success of the petroleum sector is due to the reform policies adopted by the political leadership in achieving strong contributions to the Egyptian economy and unprecedented positive indicators in performance rates. Additionally, a surplus in the petroleum trade balance was achieved in 2020-2021, equivalent to EGP 9.4bn in continuation of the success in achieving a surplus for the first Once during the year 2018-2019, equivalent to about EGP 9.9bn, after years of a deficit.
He pointed out that the contribution of the oil and gas sector to the country’s GDP reached 27% in 2018-2019. Despite the pandemic, the sector was able to contribute about 24% of the GDP in 2019-2020.
He pointed to the unprecedented boom in the natural gas industry. The growth rate of the gas sector over the past few years has shifted from negative 11% to positive 25%. 30 projects were implemented to develop natural gas fields with total investments of EGP 514bn, and Egyptian liquefied natural gas exports reached record rates, making Egypt rank among the top Arab countries that achieved natural gas growth in the third quarter of 2021. It exported about one million tonnes, a 900% increase on an annual basis. This is the world’s highest growth rate in the third quarter of 2021.
He added that maximizing the uses of natural gas locally comes within the framework of the national initiatives adopted by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi in this regard, as natural gas was delivered to 1.2 million housing units annually for the third year in a row, which is the highest delivery rate, bringing the total since the start of activity in 1980 to 12.6 million housing units at the level of the Republic, with 50% of them being in only the past seven years.
He highlighted the serious steps implemented to develop the infrastructure in the petroleum sector, including the plan to develop refineries to continue securing supplies of gasoline and diesel, which includes seven projects with investments of EGP 86bn, with an annual production rate of 6.2 million tonnes of petroleum products, in addition to a major boom in petroleum products and the infrastructure of the oil and gas transportation and circulation system after the completion of the implementation, operation and renewal of 37 lines for transporting crude oil and petroleum products, with a total length of 1240 km, at an investment cost of EGP 4.1bn.
The Minister of Petroleum added that the implementation and operation of several gas transmission lines had been completed, with a total length of 940 km, at a cost of about EGP 12bn, with the aim of providing citizens’ needs of petroleum products and supplying power stations with fuel.
He explained that the petrochemical industry is witnessing an ambitious program to expand in order to maximize the value added and return from Egypt’s gas and petroleum resources. Two huge petrochemical projects were implemented in Damietta and Alexandria with investments of EGP 72bn, raising production to 4 million tonnes annually. Additionally, work is underway to establish several petrochemical projects with investments exceeding EGP 125bn.