Egypt to pay its $3.1 billion debt to foreign oil and gas companies a year late

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Egypt aims to pay its $3.1 billion debt to international oil and gas companies a year later than previously indicated, according to the Egyptian oil ministry.

The ministry said: “All current operational payments hae been made on time and are on track to repay any remaining arrears before mid-2016.”

It is expected that the debt will be repaid by the middle of 2016, a year ahead of the previously indicated mid-2015.

After making payments of nearly $5 billion in November and December, arrears now stand at $3.1 billion.

The debt began to accumulate before the Egyptian revolution in 2011, which ousted Egypt’s fourth president Hosni Mubarak, but problematic state finances resulted in the debts mounting to billions of dollars as the Egyptian government diverted gas destined for export to meet increasing domestic demand.