International oil companies (IOCs) increased their investments in Egypt to $8.1 billion during fiscal year (FY) 2016/2017, up 22.7% from the $6.6 billion invested in FY 2015/2016, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, told Reuters.

In June, the ministry announced that Egypt had reduced its arrears to IOCs to $2.3 billion.

The government has promised to settle all arrears by June 2019. The country is trying to attract more foreign investments to the energy sectors, especially after the country’s major gas discoveries.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources plans to achieve oil and gas self-sufficiency in 2019 by adding new fields, especially Zohr and North Alexandria, to production.

In July, El Molla met with Egypt’s new ambassadors and the First Undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for Financial and Administrative Affairs, Ayman Kamal, at the headquarters of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to discuss Egypt’s energy vision, according Egypt Oil & Gas.