The UAE’s Sharjah-based Dana Gas company has received an installment of $20 million from the Egyptian government for outstanding arrears, the company said on Sunday.
Egypt paid the $20 million in local currency, in addition to the $50 million in US currency delivered last week, representing a total of 25 percent that have been paid back from the overall $283 million owed, according to the company.
In August 2014, Dana Gas, which produces around 31,500 barrels of oil equivalent per day in Egypt and relies on the country for more than half of its output, signed an agreement with Cairo to recover outstanding arrears of $185 million by exporting the government's share of gas.
During the Egypt Economic Development Conference (EEDC) in Sharm El-Sheikh in 2015, Dana Gas announced another $350 million gas deal, which involves the drilling of nearly 40 new wells, a similar number of workovers on existing wells, building new pipelines and debottlenecking an existing plant over 30 months.
The company is the sixth largest natural gas producer in Egypt and has other operations in the UAE and Iraq's Kurdistan region.
Earlier this year, Egypt's Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla said that Egypt aims to increase its natural gas production up to 50 percent by mid-2018.
Egypt has 12 natural gas field development projects underway worth a total of $33 billion in investment.
The three largest projects, which include the mammoth Mediterranean gas field Zohr, which was discovered by Italy's Eni in 2015, are expected to collectively bring 4.6 billion cfd online by the start of 2019.
Egypt’s imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) reached around 1 to 1.1 billion cubic feet per day in 2016.
The country relies heavily on LNG to generate electricity for its population of 92 million.
Cairo has been struggling to procure oil and natural gas for domestic market needs from several sources in the past few years.
However, recent surges in natural gas discoveries and projected finds in the country promise to help Egypt cut down on its liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports in the coming year.
Egypt, the eighth largest importer of LNG in the world, has been holding talks with its LNG suppliers to defer contracted shipments this year to cut back on purchases in 2018 and achieve self-sufficiency in the alternative fuel source by the end of that year.