The World Bank supports Egypt’s aim to become a regional hub for oil and gas trading, reads a statement by the country’s Petroleum Ministry released on Monday.
In the official statement, the ministry said Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla met with the World Bank’s Executive Director Merza Hasan, who is visiting Cairo to discuss means of cooperation between Egypt and the World Bank as the bank follows positive developments in Egypt's petroleum sector.
According to the statement, El-Molla discussed projects with Hasan, which the World Bank is contributing to by financing petroleum and gas fields, as well discussing the sector’s keeness on strengthening cooperation with the bank and opening new opportunities for investment in its projects.
Hasan said he was visiting in full support of Egypt’s project to become a regional energy hub by financing infrastructure and technical support, pointing at the importance of the Egyptian project in order to secure energy supply and to support economic and political relations between countries involved in the project.
Last year, the World Bank described Egypt’s shift to modernizing the petroleum sector as ‘highly satisfactory’.
In February, Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi said that the dream to turn Egypt into a regional energy hub was becoming a reality, referring to a number of gas deals recently signed in the country, as well as efforts in achieving self sufficiency in the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG).
Egypt hopes its mammoth gas field Zohr will help it achieve its goal of self-sufficiency in the supply of LNG.
The field started production in late 2017, with an initial production of 350 million cubic feet per day. Egypt said in June that it aims to increase production at the field to 1.75 billion cubic feet per day by August 2018.
The second stage of production from the field is due to be finalised by the end of 2019 when production reaches 2.7 billion cubic feet per day.
The Zohr, North Alexandria and Noras fields are expected to increase Egypt's natural gas output by 50 percent in 2018 and 100 percent in 2020, the petroleum ministry said in October.
The country passed a new natural gas law last year that allows for competition in the market by granting licenses to import gas for private companies.