Egypt's petroleum imports up 95% in March: CAPMAS

Ahram Online , Monday 1 Jun 2015

In this Oct. 14, 2014 file photo, an oil pump works at sunset in the desert oil fields of Sakhir, Bahrain. (Photo: AP)

Egypt's petroleum imports increased 94.7 percent to LE7.82 billion in March from LE4.017 billion in the same period the previous year, state-run news agency MENA quoted the official statistics agency CAPMAS report on Monday.

The CAPMAS report shows that the production of natural gas had fallen in March 2015 by 7.6 percent to 2.989 million tonnes from 3.325 million tonnes in the same month 2014, an amount which exceeded domestic consumption by 234 million tonnes then.

The production of crude oil and other petroleum products increased 3.8 percent from 2.972 million tonnes last year to 3.086 million tonnes in March this year. In both periods, domestic consumption almost paralled output levels.

Over the past few years Egypt has transformed from an energy net exporter into a net energy, the result of falling production as arrears to foreign oil firms accumulated after the uprising in 2011.

But international investments have been pouring into the energy sector, as the government repays its debt to foreign oil firms, which stood at $3.1 billion in December of last year.

On Monday, Italian oil company Eni signed a $2 billion deal with the Egyptian government for exploration and well drilling, the latest of a wave of investments in the energy sector.

Egypt, however, has bought an LNG terminalå and announced a tender for another one in a sign it is stepping up its efforts to import more natural gas.

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