International oil companies (IOCs) plan to pump investments of around $10 billion on exploration and production (E&P) activities during the next fiscal year (FY) 2019/20, Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla told Alborsa news.

The cooperation with IOCs aims to implement a number of projects in different concession areas, increase the production rates and compensate the natural decline of wells, the minister added.

El Molla pointed out that the ministry is working on reducing the IOCs arrears, reaching $1.2 billion, which is the lowest level reached since 2010. Moreover, he expects finalizing the arrears by the end of the current year, which will be a key factor in attracting more foreign investments to the sector.

In addition, the Ministry of Petroleum is intensifying its efforts in cooperation with foreign partners to carry out projects to develop large gas discoveries in the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile Delta to contribute to increasing gas production to 8 billion cubic feet per day by 2021, according to the minister.