Shell and British Gas (BG) have reached an agreement with the Egyptian Petroleum Ministry to obtain $400m of their financial dues by the end of June, in exchange for renting a driller and resuming work in the 9B phase of the project in the Mediterranean, Daily News Egypt informed. In addition, it was reported that the Oil Ministry is to complete the repayment of the full dues by the end of 2016.

A source close to the negotiations said that the deal would accelerate the work and link wells of stage 9-B by the fourth quarter of 2017, adding that the entire project can be completed in the second half of 2018, Al Bawaba wrote.

BG’s dues are estimated at $1b, and they represent 30% of the government’s full dues to the foreign petroleum company working in Egypt. The full dues are currently worth $3.2b.

Further, the agreement was preceded by negotiations between BG and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation to raise the price of gas.