Egypt signs $12bn deal with British Energy giant BP

Egypt's Petroleum Minister, Sherif Ismail

Egypt’s Petroleum Minister, Sherif Ismail

16 March 2015, Cairo — Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail signed an energy deal worth $12 billion (91.5 billion Egyptian pounds) with energy firm British Petroleum (BP) on Saturday.

Ismail was cited by Egyptian state news agency MENA as saying that the deal is set to provide Egypt with a quarter of local energy production and will contribute to filling the gap in demand of petroleum products by 2020.

The deal will see the British energy giant develop 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 55 million barrels of condensates in the West Nile Delta area.

BP announced earlier this month the discovery of a deepwater exploration well, called Atoll-1.

“The estimated potential in the concession exceeds 5 trillion cubic feet,” the company said in a press release on March 9.

Egypt has been facing an energy crisis for years, with power outages surging in the summer.

Egyptian authorities have often owed the power crisis to a larger fuel crisis and have been taking measures in recent months to diversify sources of energy.

Egypt aims to build solar power plants and wind energy facilities within the next three years, with a total capacity of 4,300 megawatts, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said in January.

Egypt has signed an agreement with Russia last month, in which Russia will help Egypt build a nuclear power plant in Dabaa, on Egypt’s Mediterranean coast, allowing Egypt to generate electricity using nuclear power.

The agreement signed today comes on the sidelines of the Egypt Economic Development Conference.

Egypt has long been campaigning for the economic conference, hoping that it will bring investments needed to revamp its economy.

Delegations from more than 100 countries are taking part in the three-day conference, Egypt’s government said.

Deals worth billions of dollars have so far been signed with the Egyptian government as part of the major conference and oil-rich Gulf countries Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have pledged $4 billion each in investments and assistance to Egypt.

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