The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources spent between $2.2 billion and $2.4 billion on liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports during fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017, an official at the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) told Al Mal News.

The imports are to meet Egypt’s high domestic demand. The country currently consumes 6 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day (bcf/d), an official at EGAS told Amwal Al Ghad.

Rising production, however, is permitting the country to reduce its reliance upon LNG imports. Production has risen to 5.1 bcf/d and is expected to rise further, Amwal Al Ghad reports. For FY 2017/2018, the ministry plans to decrease imports of LNG by 32-33%, according to Al Mal News.

Egypt imported 118 LNG cargoes in FY 2016/2017. This number will fall to 80 cargoes in FY 2017/2018, the Minister of Petroleum, Tarek El Molla, told Reuters in September. He estimated the cost of LNG imports for the current fiscal year at $1.8 billion.