Egypt seeks Russia's natural gas

March 28, 2013 at 6:19 AM

DURBAN, South Africa, March 28 (UPI) -- Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi is interested in exploring a natural gas relationship with the Russian government, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said.

Lavrov confirmed Thursday that Morsi discussed an energy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the BRICS forum on South Africa.

"Morsi expressed interest in the deliveries of Russian gas," Lavrov was quoted by RIA Novosti as saying.

Egypt, since its 2011 revolution, has suffered energy shortages. In November, the government said it was inviting investors to help develop its refinery sector. Domestic production hasn't kept up with demand since the revolution and Egypt may become a net natural gas importer for the first time.

Russia is a leading natural gas exporter and producer.

Neither side offered an indication of volumes of export mechanism. The Russian report notes that Egyptian Oil Minister Osama Kamal in November said the country may import as much as 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day during the second half of the year.

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