(Photo: Ahram Online archive)
Egypt has signed five agreements with Algerian petroleum magnate SONATRACH aimed at increasing the imported amount of butane and liquefied gas from the North African country, state-owned daily Al-Ahram reported Wednesday.
Among the agreements that have been sealed between Hani Dahi the head of Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Abdel-Hamid Zarfeen the general director of SONATRACH, one increased supply of Algerian cooking gas to Egypt from 800,000 tonnes to one million metric tonnes as of December, with the expectation that it will reach 1.5 million metric tonnes in 2014.
Another agreement establishes a joint EGPC and SONATRACH company, which will work in petroleum exploration and outside the borders of the two countries.
SONATRACH is the largest oil and gas company in Algeria and Africa with a turnover nearing $56 billion in 2010.
Since last year's uprising, Egypt has increased butane imports from Algeria from 360,000 tonnes per year to 700,000 tonnes per year.
Egypt imports more than 50 per cent of its butane mainly from Algeria, Libya and Saudi Arabia. It is bottled locally and sold at subsidised prices to householders, hotels and restaurants.
Over the last year, Egypt has suffered from shortages of cooking gas, consequently prices have risen considerably. President Morsi claimed he had solved 85 per cent of the cooking gas problem as part of this 100-day presidential program.