Oil Minister Sameh Fahmy has denied any rise in the prices of petroleum products "for the time being". The government is keen to minimise "any suffering" and to improve the standard of living of ordinary citizens, Fahmy was quoted as saying Saturday.
In comments to the press, Fahmy also thanked the oil ministers of Qatar, Libya and Algeria who backed Egypt to host an upcoming summit of gas producing countries in 2011 in Sharm El Sheikh. Egypt was also nominated to the presidency of the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF).
Fahmy praised the efforts of former Minister of Petroleum Hamdy Al-Bamby who was keen to peg gas prices to those of oil, a position affirmed by the 11th Ministerial Meeting of GECF Thursday.
The meeting, convened in Qatar on 2 December, was chaired by GECF President Youcef Yousfi, Algerian minister of energy and mines, and Alternate President Rafael Ramirez, the people’s minister for energy and petroleum in Venezuela. The meeting was attended by Algeria, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Iran, Libya, Qatar, Russia, Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela as full members, and Kazakhstan, the Netherlands and Norway as observers.
Ministers agreed to hold the first regular gas summit in November next year in Qatar, following an exceptional summit in Egypt in June. Fahmy was made the new president of GECF.
Before his trip to Qatar, Fahmy had met members of the board of directors of Apache Corporation of America with the aim to increase investments in Egypt. He urged for further oil exploration at new sites, especially near Egypt's western borders with Libya.