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Egypt Wants Inquiry Into Suspended Saudi Oil Shipments

The Energy Committee of the Egyptian Parliament plans to contact its Ministry of Petroleum to get to the bottom of why the petroleum shipment from Aramco was suspended earlier this month.

The news came from sources within the Egyptian Parliament, and according to that source, the Ministry will be asked to review Aramco’s five-year agreement to supply Egypt with petroleum derivatives.

Egyptian Parliament has reportedly asked Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla and the chairperson of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) to meet with Committee members this Sunday.

Hamada Ghallab said that the purpose of the meeting will be to determine why shipments were suspended, and to get an outlook for subsequent shipments in November. Ghallab added that the committee will ask the Ministry of Petroleum to encourage foreign investment in oil fields in order to boost production in exchange for such things as providing facilities, paying the foreign partners’ share of the project in US dollars, and allowing the partners to “transfer profits abroad.”

In current agreements with the Ministry of Petroleum, foreign partners receive anywhere between a 45 to 50 percent share of the production.

Originally, the Ministry of Petroleum had signed an agreement with Aramco—the five-year deal for petroleum derivative supplies—which began in May. That agreement was inked during the Coordinating Council’s meeting between Egypt and Saudi Arabia in Riyadh this past March. The total cost of the shipments comes to $30 billion over the five-year period.

A ministry source reportedly told Daily News Egypt that so far, Aramco has not made any official statements regarding petroleum shipments to Egypt for next month. In that light, the ministry plans to offer a precautionary tender for the shipments for the agreement, since no product has been received.

Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com

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