Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla signed a memorandum of agreement (MoU) with US Secretary of Energy Rick Perry to boost bilateral cooperation in the oil and gas industry, according to a statement by the ministry, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

The agreement was signed on the sidelines of the second ministerial meeting of the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) on July 26, with the aim to exchange knowledge and expertise between the US Department of Energy and the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum along with the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

According to the statement, the MoU is meant to facilitate the exchange of technical information, consultancy services and the transfer of technology in the fields of oil and gas exploration, production and refining, as well as petrochemicals.

El Molla said during the signing that the strategic partnership between Egypt and the US has been going on for decades and will continue to push forward to expand ties, increase foreign investment and ensure stability in the region. He further said that the US participation in EMGF proves that the two countries are witnessing an era of strong mutual relations, stressing that the MoU will pave the way for more joint cooperation in the energy field between the two countries.

For his part, Perry said that the US supports Egypt’s efforts to become a regional energy hub, pointing out that under President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s leadership, the Egyptian oil and gas industry witnessed a boom and achieved self-sufficiency in a record time. He praised the ongoing projects that Egypt is working on in the field of energy and electricity.

The two sides will engage in energy-related discussions once a year at the US-Egypt Strategic Dialogue, either in the US or in Egypt.