Gov’t timeline to cut down on subsidies ends in 2019: The government does not plan to fully eliminate fuel subsidies, said Oil Minister Tarek El Molla in an extensive interview with Al Shorouk. The timeline to reduce spending on fuel subsidies will end in 2019, but the government will keep paying for fuel subsidies after that, he added. It is worth noting that Egypt had only committed to “reducing fuel subsidies” in its agreement with the IMF for the USD 12 bn loan, but had agreed to a complete phase-out of subsidies for electricity in the coming five years. Other takeaways from the interview:
- International oil companies have committed to reinvesting the arrears Egypt pays them, pledging USD 10 bn in new investments this year alone.
- The private sector will not begin importing natural gas to Egypt until 2018, said El Molla on the deregulation of the gas market.
- An agreement to process and export gas from Cyprus won’t come into effect for another two years.
- Aramco halted fuel shipments to Egypt last fall because of internal business considerations related to oil prices.
- Egypt will retain at least one FSRU even after it stops importing LNG.