Oil minister unveils plan to increase gas distribution

Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy described yesterday a plan to step up the provision of gas as a main source of energy to power plants, factories, tourist facilities, and houses.

During a speech at Nasser Higher Military Academy, Fahmy said that Egypt’s gross production of crude oil and gas is expected to reach two million barrels per day in 2009-2010. The minister added that the consumption rate of these products is increasing by six percent annually, saying that this increase is the major challenge facing the ministry.

In a subsequent press conference, Fahmy said that soaring consumption has a negative impact on export returns and the revenues of the petroleum sector in general. However, he said, the Egyptian petroleum sector has managed to maintain the flow of national and foreign investments despite the world financial crisis.

Fahmy noted that these investments reached about US$8.9 billion during the 2008-2009 fiscal year, US$7.5 billion of which was foreign investment in excavation, gas, and petrochemical projects.

"The ministry looks forward to providing gas to about 500,000 housing units during 2009-2010," said Fahmy, who also added that there are 3.5 million units already receiving natural gas service.

The minister stressed that the discoveries that has been achieved during the early years of the decade helped secure additional reserves of gas and oil, driving the total reserve up to the equivalent of 18.2 billion barrels.

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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