Egypt will allow oil companies to export gas output not needed for local supply in five years, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said on Monday.
"In the new exploration and search contracts, there's a clause that allows companies to export a part of their share of extracted gas abroad in case it's not needed by Egypt," Molla told a news conference.
Once an energy exporter, Egypt became an importer of natural gas after domestic output failed to keep pace with rising demand.
It aims to regain self-sufficiency in natural gas by the end of 2018 with the help of three recently discovered major gas fields.
Output from the giant Zohr gas field in the Mediterranean will raise Egypt's natural gas production to 5.5 billion cubic feet per day from 5.1 billion, El Molla told Reuters on Sunday.