Tarek El-Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, confirmed that his Ministry plans to attract $8.5b worth of new foreign investments into the Egyptian petroleum sector during the current fiscal year, reported Egypt Oil & Gas.

He added that the government would allocate part of the World Bank’s $1.5b loan to meet the debt entitlements of foreign partners over the next few months, while insisting that the ministry was continuing to pay overdue debts to foreign partners, amounting to $2.9b.

He explained that the arrears were being progressively reduced over the coming period with an intensification of exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas to bridge the gap between production and consumption.

He also discounted claims that the heads of foreign companies had halted exploration activities in Egypt either in response to the low price of oil on the world market or of some delays in the payment of monthly installments.

The Minister of Petroleum made these remarks to the press on the sidelines of his inspection tour sidelines of his inspection tour of Petrobel’s ​​Abu Rudeis field in South Sinai.