U.S. –Egypt Future Prosperity Forum
Minister of Petroleum: We Succeeded in Attracting Giant American Companies to Invest in Egypt
On 18th November 2019, Eng. Tarek El Molla, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, asserted the strategic partnership between Egypt and the U.S in the oil and gas domain, which has a significant role in enhancing joint economic relations, especially that both countries are on the threshold of a new promising era of strong, distinctive relations, along with the historic anniversary of 40 years. For 4 decades, Egypt and U.S could establish firm relationship, at the highest levels. Last July, Egypt and the US signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), in Cairo, to exchange experiences and information in various energy domains; followed by the launch of the first strategic energy dialogue between both countries, aiming at deepening cooperation between governmental and private sectors, as well as attracting more U.S investments to Egypt in the Energy Sector.
This came in the Minister's speech at the session entitled: "Egyptian Oil and Gas: Significant Successes and Prosperous Opportunities", within the events of the U.S. –Egypt Future Prosperity Forum, organized by AmCham in Cairo and the U.S Business Council, under the patronage and presence of Dr. Mostafa Madbouly, Prime Minister and Ministries of Planning, Monitoring and Administrative Reform, as well as Communications and Information Technology, in addition to Mr. Ian Steff, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets, and a large number of officials from major companies, financial institutions, the American Embassy, the AmCham and the Egypt – U.S Business Council.
During the session, attended by Mr. David Chi, Region Vice President and General Manager of Apache Egypt and Mr. Brian Eisner, Regional Director of Noble Energy in Egypt, El Molla added that Egypt was able to attract two giant American companies to the upstream (E&P) sector, Exxon Mobil & Chevron. He appreciated Exxon Mobil Co. for diversification of its investments domains in Egypt, after a long period of downstream operations in Egypt.
El Molla asserted the significance of U.S. companies active participation in the Modernization project, in cooperation with the Ministry, especially that the companies have showed full support to the Middle Management Programs, and offered many development programs to qualify participants for leadership, and training them in the companies locations in the USA.
The Minister reviewed the distinctive positive results of Egyptian oil and gas industry during the past five years, highlighting that these results are the outcome of a major economic reform program that contributed to ensure macroeconomic stability, improve the investment climate, increase social protection and place Egypt on a high-growth trajectory that is inclusive of all segments of the society.
He clarified that Egypt was transferred to one of the major natural gas producers in the region after achieving gas self-sufficiency, and resuming exports, as well as achieving a new record of highest production rate of oil and gas in Egypt's history, last August, reaching 1.9 million barrels of oil equivalent per day. This represents a positive indicator for the development of the oil and gas industry, especially with the improvement of the investment climate and reducing the foreign partners' arrears by 80%. These companies are pumping new investments of about $ 30 billion in new oil and gas projects in Egypt, as well as signing more than 65 upstream and production agreements.
The Ministry succeeded in achieving major refinery and petrochemical projects, enhancing the sector infrastructure for oil and gas transmission, achieving the highest household gas connection rate, in addition to launching leadership rehabilitation for young cadres and executed middle management programs, as well as enhancing the decision-making process and integrate information by starting Implementation of ERP in SOEs and rollout for affiliates.
El Molla affirmed that Egypt, as a regional energy hub, represents a major cornerstone of the Ministry's future vision. That it holds the keys to the East Med's gas future with its strategic location, well-established energy industry, and reliable infrastructure.
He added that concrete steps were taken towards becoming a regional oil & gas hub, on top of which introducing the initiative to create an "East Med Gas Forum" (EMGF), as a regional Organization of gas producer, consumer and transit countries, in order to coordinate structured dialogue, develop a shared vision and joint initiatives, as well as exploit infrastructure, to accelerate the development of the East Med gas fields. The Forum will be a key instrument to unlock the Full Gas Resource Potential of the region and support the security of supply, as it represents a real opportunity to utilize energy to play a key role in economic integration in the region that can withstand political challenges and alleviate tensions. This will eventually pave the way for countries to engage in cooperative discussions, promoting peace and regional welfare. He pointed that the Forum held two ministerial meetings in Cairo during this year, that were supported internationally.
At the end of his speech, El Molla asserted that both countries have a shared future, as the Egyptian economy continues to grow and diversify, the American companies are committed to invest in Egypt, as a key partner in achieving Egypt's economic success and prosperity.
Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, during the U.S. – Egypt Future Prosperity Forum