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Egypt’s Oil Reserves Rise to $42.5 Bn

Egypt’s Oil Reserves Rise to $42.5 Bn

Monday, 5 March, 2018 - 14:15
Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tariq al-Mulla. Reuters
Cairo- Asharq Al Awsat
Egypt’s foreign reserves rose to $42.524 billion at the end of February from $38.209 billion at the end of January, the central bank said on Sunday.

Reserves jumped by $4.315 billion to $42.5 billion, the central bank said. Bank officials said last month’s $4 billion Eurobond sale was only one contributor to the increase.

Cairo’s foreign reserves have been climbing since the country secured a $12 billion three-year International Monetary Fund loan program in 2016 as part of efforts to woo foreign investors and revive its ailing economy.

Egypt has witnessed an economic slowdown over the past few years due to political turmoil and relevant security challenges, which led the country's foreign debts to increase by over 42 percent to hit 80.8 billion dollars by the end of September 2017.

Reserves had dropped to about $19 billion before Egypt signed the three-year IMF deal, with Egypt floating the currency and lifting capital controls to lure back investors.

On the other hand, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tariq al-Mulla told Reuters that Egypt aims to increase gas production from its giant offshore field in the Mediterranean to 700 million cubic feet per day in May.

Italy’s Eni was discovered in 2015 with reserves estimated at 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

It is noteworthy that Mulla announced in early December 2017 the start of pumping natural gas field in the Mediterranean back to the station in Port Said with an initial production of 350 million cubic feet per day.

Egypt is seeking to speed up production from newly discovered fields as it looks to halt imports by 2019 and achieve self-sufficiency.

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