Egypt’s debts to foreign oil companies stood at $3.5 billion dollars at the end of June, a 6.1 percent increase from March, an official at state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) said on Sunday.

The country’s payments to oil and gas companies have been delayed by economic instability since a popular uprising ousted leader Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

“Foreign oil company dues with Egypt have reached $3.5 billion dollars,” an EGPC official told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Egypt’s oil ministry said in March that it aimed to fully repay its debts to energy companies by mid-2016, about a year later than previously indicated. In April a ministry spokesman said Egypt had paid foreign energy firms $9.369 billion in arrears in the nine months to March 31.

Source: Reuters.