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Egypt set to resume LNG exports by October

Reuters/Ahmed Yosri
LNG exports rose last year as more fuel oil was used in power stations, says Egypt petroleum minister Tarek El Molla

Egypt is planning to resume exports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) by October, according to petroleum minister Tarek El Molla.

Summer exports of LNG increased last year because the government switched from using natural gas in power stations to mazut (heavy, low quality) fuel oil to bank on the higher natural gas prices, he said.

“We exported more gas because we relied more on fuel oil, which last year was cheaper than natural gas,” Reuters reported El Molla as saying.

Egypt did not export LNG in June due to seasonal factors.

The country signed a framework deal with the European Union and Israel to expand gas exports last year.

Egypt earlier this month started a $1.8 billion gas exploration programme with plans to drill wells in the Mediterranean Sea and Nile Delta.

The aim is to drill 35 exploration wells within two years, 21 in the current 2023/2024 financial year and 14 in the next year.

El Molla in February said the country will launch the first-ever bid for obsolete energy fields, which need “unconventional methods and specialised technology” to extract the remaining resources.

In the same month, state-run Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company chairman Magdy Galal said the country has an ambitious offshore exploration plan.

“For 2024 and 2025, we have a very good, ambitious drilling campaign. We are planning to drill around 30 wells, exploratory wells, most of them offshore, during the current and next fiscal year,” he told an energy conference in Cairo.

The petroleum ministry has announced that Egypt plans to invest $9 billion in new oil refining and gas projects.