SOCAR, Azerbaijan’s state-owned energy company, is interested in taking a stake in Egyptian oil refineries, Reuters reports.
“We would like to widen our activities in Egypt, particularly to buy stakes in refineries there and participate in Egypt’s oil refining,” Rovnag Abdullayev, president of the company, said Tuesday.
Abdullayev added that the “oil and gas industry is well-developed in Egypt, and this is a huge market. For several years, we have been exporting oil and petroleum products there in a volume exceeding one million tons. Thus, our trading activity there has reached a high level. Now, we are interested in acquiring stakes in oil refineries and participating in the process of oil refining in Egypt.”
The announcement comes a day after Abdullayev’s visit to Egypt, in which he discussed trade matters and met with Egyptian officials. Following their meeting last week, Egyptian Prime Minister Sharif Ismail praised SOCOR’s relationship with Egypt and encouraged greater investment. The meeting was also attended by Head of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation Mohamed Al-Masry and Azerbaijani ambassador to Egypt Shahin Abdullayev.
According to Az News, during the meeting, the SOCAR president spoke about the export of crude oil to Egypt, existing cooperation with EGPC, as well as those SOCAR projects being carried out in Azerbaijan and abroad. He also expressed SOCAR’s interest in participating in projects in Egypt.
The Prime Minister, in turn, said he highly appreciated SOCAR’s operations in Egypt and expressed satisfaction with the level of cooperation between SOCAR and EGPC. Ismail reiterated that Egypt enjoys huge investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector and urged SOCAR to take them into account, adding that Egypt is ready to support SOCOR’s investments.
Azerbaijan currently exports around one million tons of oil and refined products to Egypt each year. SOCOR primarily operates in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea, exporting and marketing in Europe, but seems to be interested in expanding into energy markets further abroad.