Egypt eager to repay $2.8bln debts to foreign oil companies

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Egypt eager to repay $2.8 billion debt to foreign oil and gas companies before next August , Investment Minister Ashraf Salman said on Monday.The debt settlement is accomplished according to a defined schedule , noted Salman.

Egypt has already repaid $3.2 billion of $6 billion total outstanding debt, added Salman.Egypt said in early April 2014 it had repaid $2.1 billion of the money owed.

[tbpspa]

Egypt has delayed payments to oil and gas firms as its economy has been hammered by almost three years of instability since a popular uprising ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Arrears began to accumulate before the revolt, but worsening state finances saw the debts mount to billions of dollars while the government diverted gas earmarked for export to meet domestic demand.

Gas production has steadily declined in Egypt while consumption keeps rising, but firms have been reluctant to increase investment in exploration and production, particularly in costly offshore areas, until the government repays them.

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