Egypt’s proven reserves of oil and gas rose to 18.3 billion barrels equivalent in the year to end-June, and the country expects to boost them to 20 billion over the next two years, said the state news agency.

Egypt, the most populous Arab country, is a major natural gas exporter, but faces quickly rising local demand.

The country had 11.8 billion barrels equivalent in proven gas and oil reserves in the fiscal year 1999-2000, the report said, without giving a comparative figure for last fiscal year.

The oil ministry previously said Egypt’s proven reserves of oil and oil condensates were about 4.4 billion barrels and its proven reserves of natural gas were about 77.2 trillion cubic feet in the fiscal year 2008-2009. In July, BP and Germany’s RWE signed a $9 billion agreement with Egypt to develop offshore fields to supply up to 1 billion cubic feet per day of natural gas in 2014.

(Source: Reuters)