Egypt paid $200 million in arrears owed to foreign oil companies in January, according to Egypt’s Minister of Finance, Amr El Garhy, Reuters reported.

El-Garhy added that Egypt will pay another $550 million in February and March.

The country owed foreign oil companies $2.4 billion at the end of June 2017, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El-Molla, said mid-January.

Cairo has pledged to eliminate arrears by end of June 2019 and not to accumulate more, as part of its plan to draw new foreign investment to the energy sector and attract interest, following several major gas discoveries, Reuters further stated.