Egypt, Algeria inked five agreements to boost cooperation in the petroleum and butane gas domains within the coming period.
Head of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) Hani Dahi told MENA the five deals were agreed upon during talks between Egyptian Prime Minister Hisham Qandil and Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflicka here on October 22.
Dahi, who signed the deals with general director of Algeria's Sonatrach government-owned Company Abdel Hamid Zarfeen, said the first agreement aims at increasing Algerian butane gas imports to Egypt from 800,000 tons to one million as of December, hoping it will reach 1.500 million in 2014.
The second agreement provides for establishing a joint company comprising the EGPC and Sonatrach company to work in the petroleum exploration and production domains, Dahi said, adding that the new company might work outside the two countries' borders.
The third deal calls for setting up another company in the engineering studies and economic feasibility studies in the oil, gas and petrochemical domains, he said.
The head of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation said the fourth agreement provides for supplying the Egyptian side with Algerian liquefied gas.
Asked about reasons behind Egypt's importing gas from other countries at a time it exports to some Arab and foreign countries, he said the delayed implementation of some gas projects, especially the one in northern Delta, created a gab between gas production and consumption and made it very difficult that Egypt abides by contracts it signed years ago to export gas to some Arab and foreign countries.
He noted that Egypt's confirmed gas reserves are 55 trillion cubic feet while possible reserves amount to 75 trillion cubic feet.
"Another problem we face is the growing gas consumption of power plants," he said.
He denied that Egypt has any unused gas fields along maritime borders with Cyprus and Israel, saying preliminary studies showed no fields but in case they were discovered we will jointly run them and share their profits with the two countries.
The final agreement, Dahi said, provides for sending samples of Algerian crude petroleum to Egyptian labs for refinery tests.