Egypt’s economic reforms have led to a surge in oil and gas exploration agreements that were previously delayed by political unrest, the Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, said at Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference (ADIPEC), Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

El Molla noted that between 2011 and 2013, Egypt did not sign any upstream agreements. Arrears to international oil companies (IOCs) soon accumulated and investments stagnated, resulting in fuel shortages and electricity blackouts.

That has changed, however, he said. The government has adopted a new oil and gas strategy and Egypt has signed 83 agreements with international companies over the past four years.

The Egyptian government has sought to create a more attractive investment climate. Over the past year, it has approved new legislation to regulate investments and the domestic natural gas market. It has also sought to repay its arrears to IOCs.