Egypt seeking a US$1 billion loan to repay oil debts before the end of 2014

The state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) is looking to borrow at least US$1 billion before the end of the year to repay part of its dues to foreign oil and gas companies, according to  the minister of petroleum Sherif Ismail.
This is despite five Egyptian banks granting EGPC the largest loan in the history of the Egyptian banking system worth LE10 billion at the end of September to repay its debts to foreign companies and meet consumer needs.
Meanwhile, EGPC announced that the Egyptian government has paid LE10.5 billion ($1.5 billion) of its debt to foreign oil and gas companies which brings the debt owed to the firms down to LE34.3 billion ($4.9 billion).
“The government aims to reduce the debt to encourage the firms to step up research and exploration operations, to boost local production of oil and gas and minimize imports, which in turn will spare the cash to continue paying Egypt's due debts to its foreign partners,” said Ismail in an earlier statement.
In related news, the Egyptian government has approved 18 oil exploration agreements with minimum investments of $1.14 billion, in addition to $185 million in signing bonuses, Bloomberg News reported.
The agreements include drilling 75 new wells as well as the revision of some prior deals, according to Bloomberg. 

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