CAIRO: Petroleum sector, represented by the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), is currently finalizing the procedures of gas importation and finding solutions for the issues related to the import process regarding procedures and contracts, governmental sources said Sunday.
Minister of Petroleum Sherif Ismail allowed the private sector to import gas without offering tenders for the first time to meet the growing needs.
Egypt seeks to provide energy for high-consumption plants with priority given to power plants with energy, due to the lack of financial resources required to import diesel beside the limited production of natural gas.
All factories complain of low energy supplies, especially cement factories, while the Ministry of Environment rejects using coal as an alternative.
The petroleum sector is looking to raise oil and gas production in Egypt since gas production significantly dropped to 147.2 million cubic meters per day early this year, compared to 152.9 million cubic meters per day last November.
The total production of crude oil and natural condensate reached 700,000 barrels per day, according to data released by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation.
The Egyptian market currently suffers from a significant shortage of diesel fuel, particularly given the economic strain from the rise in global fuel prices and the lack of financial resources required for import. Each ton of fuel carries a government subsidy of 3,000 EGP ($ 447), a heavy burden on the state budget.
Originally published in Youm7.