MOSCOW, April 22 (UPI) -- The Egyptian government has asked Russia for help with exporting natural gas to the European market, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said.
Novak said Russian energy company Gazprom was considering a swap plan so Egypt could meet contractual obligations.
"Egypt has asked us to help make swap gas shipments ... under Egypt's agreements with Europe," he was quoted by state-owned news agency RIA Novosti as saying.
Russia is a leading natural gas exporter and producer. Europe gets about 20 percent of its natural gas imports from Russia, of which the majority travels through Ukrainian transit networks.
Egypt would keep some natural gas designated for European markets and Gazprom would make up the difference. No indication of volume was given.
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi last month said he was interested in exploring a natural gas relationship with Russia.
Egypt, since its 2011 revolution, has suffered energy shortages. Domestic production hasn't kept up with demand and Egypt may become a net natural gas importer for the first time.