The talking heads busied themselves with an assortment of issues, most notable among which was the Zohr gas field officially beginning production. Oil Minister Tarek El Molla made an appearance on the airwaves to discuss the news.
Before we dive into Zohr, El Molla denied that his ministry is in talks with Exxon Mobil for oil and gas exploration projects in an interview with Hona Al Asema’s Lamees Al Hadidi. Reuters had reported earlier in the month that the US energy giant was exploring an investment in Zohr. El Molla is even quoted as having had meetings with the company but did not elaborate on any new investments. “I would be happy to have them with us,” he is reported to have said. A source said Exxon conducted a portfolio profitability reassessment in Egypt following the discovery of Zohr and is looking for “tier-one assets” with significant potential (watch, runtime: 1:41).
As for Zohr, El Molla said the field will save state coffers some USD 720 mn per year. He added that the gas field will allow the state to reroute fuel subsidies towards other services, including healthcare, education, and transportation (watch, runtime: 3:21). The minister also broke down economic interests in the field (watch, runtime: 6:03).
Trade and Industry Minister Tarek Kabil also phoned in to tell Lamees that Zohr is expected to attract investments to energy-intensive industries, including fertilizer, steel, and ceramics production (watch, runtime: 4:48).
Over on Kol Youm, Amr Adib was Debbie Downer on the agreement to resume Russian flights to Cairo. He said the details of the agreement remain unclear and that Russian tourism to Egypt remains unlikely to return to previous levels (watch, runtime: 6:03).
Adib also had a chat with State Land and Assets Reclamation Committee Spokesperson Ahmed Ayoub, who said that the committee is working on a census of reclaimed state land in each governorate. The reclaimed land is then allocated for other uses, including social housing projects. The committee also compiled a report on vacant land plots for the Investment Ministry to include in its long-awaited investment map (watch, runtime: 5:08).
House Health Committee President Mohamed El Amary talked to Al Hayah Al Youm’s Tamer Amin about the main features of the Universal Healthcare Act, which will be discussed in a plenary session at the House today (watch, runtime: 5:44).
Over on Masaa DMC, Ittihadiya spokesman Bassam Rady told host Eman El Hosary that Egypt has managed to significantly curb the flow of illegal migration thanks to national projects that put youth to work, as well as tightened security measures. He also reminded El Hosary that Europe places great importance on the challenge of illegal migration (watch, runtime: 4:03).