Egypt has paid $2.2 billion in arrears to international oil companies operating in the country during the past 3 weeks, leaving $2.3 billion remaining, the petroleum ministry said Thursday.
"[We've decreased] the dues owed to international oil companies to $2.3 billion, the lowest level since 2013, when they registered $6.3 billion," the ministry said in an emailed statement.
"Decreasing the [government] dues will encourage foreign companies to pump more investment, intensify research and exploration, and speed up the development of discoveries to increase production rates and meet the country's needs for petroleum products and natural gas," Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla was quoted as saying in the statement.
In early February, El-Molla said that the ministry was drafting a schedule to repay arrears to international oil companies soon.
Egypt paid $1.5 billion in arrears to international oil companies in May and June, a Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) official said in press statements in early June.
According to an IMF report released in January, Egypt has pledged to eliminate its arrears to foreign oil and gas companies by the end of June 2019 and to not accumulate new arrears.