Egypt has received a formal request from Sudan to close a gas supply deal, according to a newspaper reports.

The Egyptian Petroleum Minister Eng. Sameh Fahmy told the private-owned newspaper Al Youm Al Sabe’ that his government is still considering supplying its southern neighbor with natural gas, specially after the decision not to sign any new gas export contracts until 2010 in order to meet rising local demand.

Fahmy pointed that Sudan’s interest came after the Egyptian natural gas pipeline extended to reach Aswan city close to the Southern borders.

Egypt’s proven natural gas reserves rose to around 77.2 trillion cubic feet in the 2008/09 economic year, as Egypt is a significant natural gas exporter and currently exports 200-250 million cubic feet of natural gas to Jordan, its main export market, according to the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS).