Egypt Oil & Gas Newspaper team has been exploring many of the ambiguities surrounding the Egyptian petroleum sector. Despite the remarkable effort that has been exerted in advancing the sector’s potential to achieve international standards, there is still a morbid sense of shared fear and anxiety among everyone involved in the sector

May be this status of anxiety is due to the absence of public declarations and clarifications from the top executives in the field. Eng. Abdullah Ghorab, the current Minister of Petroleum has been eluding the inconvenience of issuing press releases or talking to news agencies specialized in the petroleum field until the magnitude of public outrage reaches an intolerable level.  Alas, several of the crucial aspects in the petroleum sector remain equivocal despite public pressure. Even more astonishing is how these issues are arising during a time where the government is supposedly fostering transparency and democracy.

For six years now, our publication has been a dependable source of news and information on the Egyptian petroleum sector that investors heavily rely upon, and our journalistic ethical responsibility is quite dependent on our ability to gather information from high-ranking officials in the field. As an attempt to maintain the integrity in today’s turbulent times and to provide realistic expectations for the future of the petroleum sector, Egypt Oil & Gas seeks an open dialogue with Eng. Ghorab in person. Our esteemed Minister of Petroleum is renounced for his calm domineer and exceptional competency; his overall attitude is indicative of genuine commitment to developing the petroleum sector, increasing the overall production rate and turning Egypt into an international player in the field. 

In spite of our relentless efforts over the previous six years to bring the most informative and credible news to the public, we still encounter deliberate resistance from officials and the Ministry of Petroleum in agreeing to meet with us. Moreover, another barrier is the constant interference by ministry officials, through their extensive network of connections, in a manner that disrupts our ability to accurately report significant and sensitive news. It is never our intention to criticize any specific individual in the field; we are only trying to find the proper channel to tackle the vague and perplexing subjects that only your mature wisdom could shed the light on.

Respectfully, the public has the right to know what kind of changes have taken place in the Petroleum Ministry after nine months of the eruption of the triumph of our revered.

Moreover, there is a common public question that is often raised; what is the Ministry’s plan for the upcoming period with regards to the development of our petroleum industry? Has a plan been actually drawn or is the Ministry still in the process of developing one? And if there is an actual plan, what prevents the Ministry from transparently publicizing its strategy via any of the various forms of media? What are the benefits that would come from concealing the future plans of country’s petroleum sector?

Will the current interim Ministry keep the same relationship with media? Because it is not only the media that is encountering difficulties with the Petroleum Ministry, companies attracting foreign investments that are crucial to the overall welfare of our national economy are being deterred and discouraged by the ministry’s shady practices. The sorrowful tale of gas exportation to Israel whose beneficiaries were a select group of Egyptian businessmen and the Israeli government which provoked massive protests calling for the complete termination of that deal.

There is also case of local participation in the petroleum operations. Why is the Ministry determined on marginalizing Egyptians in the petroleum job market? The 25th of January Revolution erupted due to the very issues being illustrated here. The Egyptian youth took to the streets in the utmost enlightened way of civil disobedience demanding the elimination of the despotic, archaic and inefficient systems. Should we ever expect these modest dreams to actually materialize?

In our opinion, nothing has changed since our proud revolution, which inspired optimism towards more transparent and competent governmental bodies, ones that would conduct business in a highly respectable and professional manner, especially when it comes to respecting the media’s freedom of expression.  Unfortunately, the petroleum heads ruthlessly and apathetically disregarded such humble dreams of freedom and equality, just like every other governmental entity did.

There exist a number of questions befuddling Egyptians’ minds that merit meaningful answers from our current Petroleum Minister Eng. Abdullah Ghorab. Are not the traits of transparency and credibility conducive to eradicating the administrative corruption in all its shapes and forms?  Or is it that we are so used to being equivocal and misguiding. How does the Ministry plan on resolving the catastrophe of outstanding debts? Are plans already being set to deal with such imminent disaster or are we holding our breath for the requested $1.5 billion from international monetary organizations?

Does the Ministry and its entities awaiting public pressure to respond to the problem of gas exportation to Israel and Jordan? On which basis were the price modifications reached? What prevents our esteemed minister from holding a press conference to highlight the significance of exporting gas to Israel with such moderate prices?

At the end, it is our professional and ethical responsibility to report the facts and truth. We demand transparency with all forms of media through the legitimate channels we are authorized to use. Earlier this year, we all took the streets chanting “The People Want Change”, and our statement was meant to be general, encompassing whichever needs changing. Isn’t it our right as citizens to dream of change? Until when do we have to bear such burden? We kindly ask for your Excellency’s prompt response.

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