Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi of Egypt said the country is close to agreeing upon a schedule to repay $6 billion in outstanding debt to foreign oil companies.
Beblawi also said that reaching an agreement on the debt would lead to an increase of investments from the same companies to $15 billion in the next two years.
Egypt has been plagued by political and economic turmoil since Hosni Mubarak was removed in February 2011. Highly subsidized fuel products means the country has been struggling to meet mounting energy bills for the 84 million population.
“We are in debt to foreign oil firms for around $6 billion, which is what led them to stop investing. We are on the verge of reaching an agreement with them to schedule the debts. Reaching a settlement will lead to a rise in investment from foreign (oil) firms within two years to $15 billion.,” Beblawi said.
Financial disclosures by companies including BP PLC, BG Group, Edison SpA, and TransGlobe Energy reveal that Egypt owed more than $5.2 billion to them by the end of 2012.