UK international energy company Petroceltic has announced its intention to seek arbitration in a dispute with Egypt's state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) over what Petroceltic says is the Egyptian company's failure to pay debts.
Petroceltic said in a statement that it is seeking arbitration with the World Bank-managed International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes over EGPC's "breach of its obligations under multiple Gas Sales Agreements and in particular EGPC’s inability to pay its debts as they fall due for payment."
Petroceltic Chairman Angelo Moskov said that the company has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Egypt and sustained hundreds of EGPC jobs in joint venture with EGPC, at considerable expense to Petroceltic.
"Petroceltic has been a good corporate citizen and a friend to the Arab Republic of Egypt for many years and as such we are disappointed at the way we are now being treated. We do not threaten international arbitration lightly, but equally we are at the end of our patience with EGPC: the current situation is totally unacceptable," the Petroceltic chairman said.
"I would strongly urge EGPC to rectify its current default without further delay in order to restore cordial relationships between our two respective companies and to send a positive message to the international investment community,” he said.
Egypt's Minister of Petroluem Tarek El-Molla has said that Egypt is willing to pay debts to foreign oil and gas companies by the end of 2019.
El-Molla affirmed that Egypt has reduced debts to foreign companies from $6.3 billion in 2012 to $1.2 billion in mid-2018.