An official source at the Ministry of Petroleum told Daily News Egypt that the ministry plans to repay $500m of Egypt’s dues to foreign partners by the end of 2015.

It will do this by making use of a $1.5bn loan obtained from the African Development Fund (ADF) and is currently coordinating with the Ministry of International Cooperation to set a date for the loan to be obtained.

The source explained that the ministry is working hard to repay its dues to foreign companies to increase investments in oil and natural gas exploration. The ministry has been paying its foreign partners on a regular monthly basis for the oil and gas they produce, he added.

While at the APICORP Energy Forum in Bahrain Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla said that foreign companies’ dues had been reduced to $2.7bn by the end of October last year, from $2.9bn in September.

For her part the Minister of International Cooperation Sahar Nasr had said previously that negotiations with the World Bank are underway for a $3bn loan, with an additional $1.5bn expected from the ADF to support development programs.

The Petroleum Ministry official said this sort of funding is provided on the spot, if the government has specified how the money will be used in programs and different development projects beforehand.