Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Moll, stated that Egypt will repay half of its dues to international oil company (IOCs) in weeks. The country’s arrears for IOCs were estimated at $3.5b, reported Reuters.

The minister’s comments came on the 29th of March as he was attending a conference about the oil and gas industry.

El Molla informed that Egypt has achieved a great deal in repaying the late dues. He added that he expects signing an agreement to import oil directly from Iraq within a month.  El Molla pointed out that Egypt imports around 1m barrels of petroleum per month, reported CNBC Arabia.

The minister’s statement came as he was visiting Italy to attend the launching of the Offshore Mediterranean Conference (OMC) which is held from the 29th of March till the 31st of March, reported Petro Press.

El Molla said that Egypt is to achieve self-sufficiency by 2018.