Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources (MoP) convened a multi-stakeholder platform with the Ministry of International Cooperation (MOIC), under the title “Egypt as a Regional Energy Hub: Reforms and Prospects in the Oil and Gas Sector”, according to a press release.

The platform was launched in the attendance of officials of major foreign and private companies operating in Egypt, including Apache, TAQA Arabia, Schlumberger, and SAP. Representatives from the World Bank (WB), the International Finance Corporation, the African Development Bank, and the German Embassy were also in attendance.

The event comes as part of a series of interactive conferences organized by MOIC in line with the joint coordination cooperation platform. Through the platform, MOIC aims to integrate talks between government stakeholders, multilateral and bilateral development partners, as well as the private sector and civil society to achieve Egypt’s 2030 Vision.

The platform tries to shed light on the economic sectors that have undergone fundamental reforms during the past years, which have contributed to Egypt’s economic development. Through the platform, MOIC aims to explore cooperation opportunities with international partners involved in the petroleum sector’s projects. It will also highlight the fields that allow private sector participation and create integration between various partners.

Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, stated that the sector’s Modernization Project bore fruit and contributed to achieving many successful stories foremost of which is the signing of 98 agreements with international oil companies (IOCs) with a minimum of $16 billion in investments.

Additionally, the sector’s total investments during the period from the fiscal year (FY) 2014/15 to FY 2019/20 amounted to about $74 billion. As for the natural gas sector specifically, it managed to turn from a negative 11% growth to 25% positive growth in 2020.

Marina Weiss, Regional Director for Egypt, Yemen, and Djibouti at WB, expressed her optimism about Egypt’s future progress as policy reform helps benefit from private sector participation, whereas David Chi, Vice President and General Manager of Apache Egypt stated “We have partnered with Egypt for 25 years and invested more than $20 billion in the country. Egypt is in a great place in terms of resources, location and leadership, which makes it a regional hub for foreign investments in the energy sector.” 

Khaled Abu Bakr, Chairman of TAQA Arabia Group, said that the energy reforms during the past five years served as a basic pillar for any investor seeking to expand in Egypt and “these reforms are an important factor for our company to implement expansion plans.”

Karim Badawi, Managing Director for Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean at Schlumberger, said that digital transformation is the key to achieving the sustainable development that the global community strives for.  He also believes that digital empowerment is a significant topic in the global energy transition discourse.

“Digital enablement is a key topic in the global energy transition conversation. Egypt is taking strides towards digital transformation, attracting foreign investments in the energy sector aiming to push towards the global sustainability targets,” said Badawi.

It should be noted that the current development cooperation portfolio for the petroleum sector includes six projects valued at $1.12 billion. The portfolio includes partners from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), WB, Islamic Development Bank (IsDB), Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), and the European Union (EU).