British Ambassador in Egypt John Casson. (Ahram Online)
British Ambassador to Egypt John Casson said petroleum giant British Petroleum (BP) is investing $13 billion over five years to make Egypt the new energy superpower, through investments worth more than Cairo's three-year $12 billion loan deal with the IMF.
In a press release, the UK Embassy in Cairo said Casson attended the inauguration of BP's first two gas fields in the West Nile Delta Project, which was inaugurated Wednesday by President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi and the company's chief executive Bob Dudley.
The project involves the development of gas and condensate fields located in western Mediterranean deepwater concessions approximately 75 kilometres off the coast of Alexandria. BP has announced the start of production of natural gas from the Torres and Libra fields, ahead of schedule by eight months and under budget, according to the press release.
In November, BP said it had plans to invest $13 billion in Egypt before 2020. According to the embassy, total production by the two projects is expected to reach about 1.5 billion cubic feet per day, hitting peak production in 2019. This would equate to about 30 percent of Egypt's current natural gas production.
"The new gas today from Egypt's giant new field shows Britain supports Egypt with more investments than other countries do, with nearly 50 percent of all investment flows. BP is investing $13 billion in five years to make Egypt the new energy superpower.
That's more from one British company than the entire IMF loan," Casson said. He highlighted the size of overall British investments in Egypt, reiterating that UK companies have invested $43 billion in Egypt, making it the number one foreign investor in the country with almost half of all investment since 2011.
"British investment gives Egypt exactly the fuel it needs. Not adding to Egypt's debt. Not dollars flowing out of Egypt for imports. British investment means foreign currency in the bank for Egypt, jobs for Egyptians and a world class energy supply for Egypt," Casson said.