PG Arab regimes to help Egypt with free oil supplies

PG Arab regimes to help Egypt with free oil supplies
Thu Mar 13, 2014 23:24:20

Egypt’s oil-rich Arab allies in the Persian Gulf have pledged to assist Cairo’s military-installed government by supplying it with petroleum products at least through next September in a bid to help the army-led establishment avert economic troubles in the coming months.

Egyptian Finance Minister Hany Kadry Dimian made the announcement on Thursday, saying the move will help Cairo avoid an expected energy crunch in the summer when consumption soars, Ahramonline reported.

US-backed governments of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Kuwait have so far rushed to help the troubled Egyptian government, including about $4 billion worth of oil products shipped between July and December of 2013, following the forced ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected President Mohamed Morsi by its military chief Gen. Abdul-Fattah al-Sisi.

"Arab aid for petroleum products offered to Egypt will continue until next September or October," Dimian, who took office last month in a surprise cabinet reshuffle, said in a text message to foreign reporters.

Last month, Egypt's oil minister said the country would need to import $1 billion worth of petroleum products to meet its energy needs for the upcoming summer.

Fuel subsidies cost Egypt's government $15 billion per year, a fifth of the country’s budget. The money keeps pump prices well below market values, giving Egyptians no incentive to curb their consumption.

Egypt also requires liquefied natural gas (LNG) for power generation, in short supply due to declining local production, even as it cut into exports of LNG previously promised to foreign firms, including Israelis.


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