Egypt has initiated a $1.8 billion plan to drill 35 new gas exploration wells across the Mediterranean Sea, Nile Delta and Western desert regions. Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla made this announcement to Emirates News Agency (WAM) while attending Vienna Austria this week for the 8th OPEC International Seminar. He noted Egypt had discovered 284 fields since 2015 – 217 oil and 67 gas wells combined – increasing reserves by 1.32 billion barrels equivalent.
Fossil fuels make up 93% of Egypt’s primary energy needs and 75% of domestic power production. Both public and private companies are increasingly focused on expanding production of liquefied natural gas (LNG), in order to meet growing demands for clean energy in Egypt and export it internationally.
Egypt’s petrochemical industry is an integral component of government revenue, producing over $7 billion annually – 12% of industrial production! A major exporter of petroleum chemicals like butane, propane, butylene and isobutane as well as urea.
But the government is facing several difficulties. It owes huge sums to international creditors such as the IMF and World Bank as well as Gulf Arab donors like Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, who demand it cut its debt levels, curb corruption and allow more private businesses to thrive.
Egypt’s military-backed government has come under criticism for human rights violations and its treatment of its citizens, with domestic violence, sexual harassment and female genital mutilation becoming all too prevalent in society. Current laws do not adequately address such acts despite existing regulations in place; furthermore, Egypt is currently facing off an Islamist insurgency which it has been accused of suppressing dissent against.
But change is on its way. A coalition of companies led by Houston-based Noble Energy, Israel’s Delek Drilling and Egypt’s Dolphinus Holding have started pumping Israeli gas into Egypt via a pipeline expected to be finished in early 2020. This will increase production of liquefied natural gas while making Egypt more competitive internationally; jobs should also be created for Egypt’s youth population as a result of this investment; further tourism may increase, providing foreign exchange into Egypt’s economy – and giving its people hope of a brighter future ahead. The Egyptian government will work towards making Egypt better through investment initiatives and projects alike in hopes of creating brighter futures for its people!