Egypt’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, said that the ministry has successfully reduced its arrears for the IOCs by $2.8b in the last three years, as dues reached around $6.3b by the end of 2013 , down to around $3.5b by the end of 2016, according to Al Borsa.

In his interview with the Oxford research center in the UK, El Molla praised the efforts made by the ministry to contain the debt issue over the past few years. The ministry is currently cooperating with the Central Bank of Egypt and the Ministry of Finance to pay of the arrears of the IOCs.

Additionally, El Molla noted that the ministry has been keen to pay for the purchase of its shares in crude oil and natural gas on a regular basis during the past fiscal years, mentioning that an amount of $5.5b was settled to reduce the entitled payment.

On the other hand, El Molla pointed to the recent natural gas discoveries in Egypt with investments exceeding $30b.