Foreign energy companies investments in exploration, and development in Egypt’s oil sector in the next fiscal year amount to around $7b, according to Daily News Egypt. An official with the Ministry of Petroleum said that foreign company investment in the sector increased to around $7.5b in 2016 – more than the $7b initially expected for the year. The Ministry of Petroleum estimates the total investments in the fields of research, exploration, development, refinement, petrochemicals, infrastructure, pipeline extensions, and delivering natural gas to households to amount to $16b during 2016.

The official said that there were 108 joint companies operating in the petroleum sector and 62 research and exploration companies from different countries. The official stated that the broad array of firms reflects the strength of Egypt’s economic relations abroad and sends a message of confidence in the petroleum sector.

The Ministry of Petroleum has developed a set of priorities to strengthen the investment climate and build the confidence to foreign partners. The ministry aims to offer international bids and sign agreements worth $4.5b and also expects to expand development and production projects through investments worth approximately $1.2b.

Plans for the coming year include linking eight oil projects to the national network for gas production and adding 250mcf/d of gas through investments worth approximately $1.2b. The goal is to have 19 wells producing 325mcf/d of gas during 2016.

The ministry also plans to bring natural gas production up to 4.5bcf/d in 2016, up from 4.1b.  Crude oil and condensate production will remain at 695,000b/d.  The ministry aims to increase production and refining of petroleum derivatives to $7.3b, in addition to infrastructure projects worth EGP548m.  The ministry will also invest in EGP3.542b to expand gas pipelines.