Egypt says to complete $1.5 billion payment to oil firms this week

Egypt will complete payment this week of $1.5 billion of the $6.3 billion it says it owes oil firms, a state executive said on Monday, in line with a plan aimed at restoring confidence in an economy hit by nearly three years of political turmoil. “Today we are reimbursing $1 billion to the foreign partners and the rest during this week,” the chairman of state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), Tarek El Molla, told Reuters by telephone. Molla had previously told Reuters that “satisfying” foreign partners was essential to the government’s strategy of encouraging foreign oil companies in the country to increase exploration and production in exchange for a more rapid repayment of the money it owes them. Financial disclosures by firms including BP (LSE:BP.), BG Group (BG.V), Edison SpA (EDNn.MI), TransGlobe Energy (TGL.TO), Eni (ENI.MI) and Dana Gas (ABD:DANA) show Egypt owed them more than $5.2 billion at the end of 2012.

    

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