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Sunday, 4 March 2018

Egypt could join OPEC after 2019 -El Molla

With gas secured, Oil Ministry takes aim at fuel: Egypt plans to close the supply deficit for fuel and petroleum products within three years, Oil Minister Tarek El Molla said in an interview with Mehwar TV’s Akher El Osboo’ program (watch, runtime: 2:19). The ministry plans to close this 35% deficit by building up refining capacity, a cheaper alternative than importing petroleum products, he added.

This comes as El Molla announced that Saudi Aramco agreed to supply Egyptian refineries with crude oil for six months beginning from January 2018. “Aramco will supply 500k barrels per month of crude oil to Egyptian refineries, El Molla told Reuters on Thursday.

Have we already begun exporting fuel to Europe? State-owned EGPC has begun exporting bunker fuel to Europe as Egypt’s generation needs are now being met by domestic natural gas supply from Zohr and the West Nile Delta, traders tell S&P Global’s Platts. The EGPC offered 25,000 tonnes of bunker fuel in international tenders over the last few weeks. “Egypt used to import much more fuel oil than now,” a trader said. Egypt’s last import tender was for three shipments of 30,000-45,000 tonnes of fuel oil back in October.

Egypt could be a member of OPEC at some point in the future, El Molla told Bloomberg TV in a separate interview. El Molla said Egypt was not in a place to join OPEC members in output cuts because it remains a net-importer, but “we were supporting,” he says. The minimum Egypt would do is cooperate with OPEC, the maximum would be becoming a member of the cartel, he explained. El Molla does not think it would happen as soon as this year and thinks it would be an option after Egypt completes its “reform journey” from 2019 and on. The Oil Minister added that the current oil price of USD 60-70 per bbl is “good” for Egypt and encouraging of investment in the sector (runtime 05:01).

With that long-term goal in mind, the Oil Ministry plans to hold an oil exploration tender in 2H2018, El Molla said, without adding any details, Ahram Gate reports. EGAS had announced that it too plans to hold an international gas exploration tender for nine blocks before the end of 1H2018.

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