Egypt wooing energy companies

March 20, 2013 at 8:11 AM

CAIRO, March 20 (UPI) -- Several international oil and gas companies have expressed interest in conducting exploration campaigns in Egypt, an energy investor said.

The vice president of state-owned Gaboub El-Wadi petroleum holding company, Abu Bakr Ibrahim, told Egyptian newspaper al-Ahram the Egyptian government invited multinational energy companies to areas surrounding the Nile valley.

"The government's offer has attracted an overwhelming number of oil companies both foreign and local, and companies are currently assessing the financial and technical costs of drilling projects in the area," he said.

Egypt, since its 2011 revolution, has suffered energy shortages. In November, the government said it was inviting investors to help develop its refinery sector.

Egyptian Prime Minister Hesham Kandil in early March said the government was committed to a project that would extend an oil pipeline from Iraq through Jordan at the cost of $17 billion.

The agreement would mean Iraq would send about 4 million barrels of crude oil from the southern region to Egypt every year.

In terms of its own reserves, the U.S. Energy Department's Energy Information Administration estimates that proven oil reserves top 4 billion barrels while natural gas reserves are more than 75 trillion cubic feet.

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