In order to confront increasing demand on natural gas in Egypt, a decision has been taken for extending natural gas supplies to all governorates in a period of seven years. Top priority would be given to satisfying the local needs of gas in the various sectors.

Minister of Petroleum Sameh Fahmy said in response to increasing local demand, Egypt’s natural gas exports declined last year to 29 per cent of the total production. He said this ratio declined to 26 per cent in the first quarter of the current year.

The Minister of Petroleum expected a qualitative increase in the volume of oil and gas production in the coming few years after many giant foreign companies had agreed to invest $ 23 billion in the fields of prospection mainly in the deep water of the Mediterranean.

The Minister of Petroleum said the past ten years witnessed 490 oil finds in the field of petroleum and gas through 183 agreements signed with world companies. He said these agreements have saved $ 33.4 billion to Egypt through amending the item of the exclusive price of the produced gas in cooperation with the foreign partner. He said such amendment saved $ 7.5 billion to Egypt in the past year only and spared Egypt the risks of world oil prices increase in general.

The Minister of Petroleum called on Egyptian oil companies to offer part of their shares and securities in the capital market in order to provide the funds which is necessary for financing their activities.

He said many Egyptian companies have been awarded contracts to work in 14 foreign countries, adding the value of projects carried out by these companies reached more than $ 5.1 billion.

The Minister of Petroleum described the gas pipeline in Upper Egypt as the most successful Egyptian strategic project, adding he has encouraged foreign companies to prospect oil in Upper Egypt, adding the results were promising.

The Minister of Petroleum uncovered these positive figures during an expanded seminar held on Tuesday 14/12/2010 under the title of “oil and gas between a promising future and world changes” within the framework of Egypt’s international economic forum. (SIS)