Egypt Gas Sector Attracting Sharjah’s Crescent Group

Egypt Gas Sector Attracting Sharjah’s Crescent Group

Crescent Group, the Sharjah-headquartered conglomerate, is exploring opportunities in Egypt’s gas sector, a board member said in Dubai on Tuesday.

“We, as Crescent, are looking at opportunities in Egypt directly,” board member Neeraj Agrawal told Gulf News at the Annual Investment Meeting.

The group has an indirect presence in Egypt through subsidiary Crescent Petroleum, the single largest private shareholder in Dana Gas, which is investing $30 million (Dh110 million) in Egypt over the next 30 months.

“We’re at the stage where we’re looking at specific projects in Egypt in the hydrocarbons sector,” Agrawal said.

“And it’s no more sitting in the office. We’re looking specifically at a few things,” he added.

Agrawal declined to reveal details relating to the projects the group is looking at. When asked when the company would announce the projects, he said “it will be challenging to set a timeline.”

Egypt is witnessing a resurgence among foreign investors who are looking at the most populated Arab nation in a new light after four years of instability since the revolution that resulted in the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

“Egypt is [on] the cusp of a transformation,” Agrawal said.

However, ongoing issues regarding payments to international energy firms continue to be problematic.

“We’re looking at projects we’re we can get comfortable [and] where feel we’re going to get paid,” Agrawal said in reference to the millions of dollars owed to Dana Gas by the Egyptian government.

Egypt has delayed payments to oil and gas firms as its economy struggles to rebound. Last month, the government said it will repay the remaining $3.1 billion owed to foreign oil and gas firms by mid-2016.

Meanwhile, the group wants to expand its port terminal operations in Saudi Arabia with a view to make them integrated, Agrawal said.

Crescent operates terminals in Jeddah and Jubail through subsidiary Gulftainer, of which Agrawal is also an executive committee member.

Agrawal said Crescent wants to add warehousing, trucking, container depots and bonded warehouses to its Saudi operations.

“Saudi Arabia is a massive opportunity,” he said.

Source: Gulf News


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