The success of Egypt’s latest bid round is all the more remarkable as producers are owed billions in outstanding receivables. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, payments to IOCs slowed; companies were owed at least $7.5bn by the government as of end-July. Egypt paid out $1.5bn in outstanding debt in December 2013 but despite this its debt pile grew by $1.4bn in the first half of 2014.

LNG exporters BG Group and Eni-led Union Fenosa have seen their profitability in Egypt collapse as the government forced them to divert their gas output to the domestic market. (CONTINUED - 569 WORDS)