CAIRO: Egypt will begin repaying the more than $6 billion it owes to foreign oil firms within two months, the chairman of state-run Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation said Monday.
“By hook or crook we will get them something fixed by the end of this year ... [in] two months maximum,” Tarek al-Molla told Reuters in an interview.
Egypt has been delaying payments to oil and gas companies as its economy has been hammered by almost constant political upheaval since a 2011 popular uprising toppled autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
Molla said EGPC was making “the required business case” to the Finance Ministry and the Central Bank to organize repayments.
The EGPC chairman added that the government had not yet finalized a timeline for the repayment of arrears to the firms.
Egypt owes oil companies $6.2 billion, the petroleum minister said earlier this month. Most firms hope to recoup the debts in full, but they acknowledge it could take years.
“The repayment is definitely our objective, it’s our priority,” Molla said.