Egypt Signed $1 Billion Contract with Russian, French, and Omani companies to Import LNG

Egypt has signed a $1 billion contract with three international companies to import 45 shipments of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) to be delivered by the start of March, Al-Ahram Daily reported on Sunday, citing the Egyptian oil minister.

As Egypt struggles with LNG shortages after the 2011 revolution, the country has signed a $1 billion import contract with Russia’s Rosneft, France’s Engie and Oman’s OTI.

Local natural gas company EGAS will buy 45 shipments from the multinationals, according to Egypt’s state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram.

Bloomberg cited a person familiar with the matter, who preferred to remain anonymous, saying that Egypt will import the 45 cargoes based on government-to-government contracts from Oman, Russia’s Rosneft PJSC and France’s Engie SA.

The remaining imports will be arranged through a tender to be announced in November, according to Bloomberg.

Egypt’s Oil Minister Tarek El-Molla said that the shipments will range from 138,000 to 156,000 cubic meters of liquefied natural gas (LNG), and Egypt will have six months to pay for the purchases.

He also added that the country would get a significant discount “in recognition and appreciation of Egypt and the Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s role regionally and internationally.”

EL-Molla previously said that Egypt is aiming to increase its natural gas production up to 50 % by mid-2018.

The remaining imports will be arranged through a tender to be announced in November, said the person, who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

In fact, Egypt produced enough LNG to cover its needs and also exported LNG to Israel and Jordan before January Revolution 2011. However, after the revolution, LNG exports fell by nearly 75%, as reported by US Energy Information Administration.

The demand for LNG has steadily grown while the country was forced to slash oil and gas exploration work. Egypt plans to reduce gas imports in the next two years, as it rebuilds infrastructure.

In December 2016, Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin visited Egypt and said the Russian energy firm and EGAS are interested in extending cooperation in LNG deliveries.