Egypt made huge steps this week in rekindling interest in its upstream sector by making a $2.1bn payment to international oil companies (IOCs), bringing the amount paid-off since December 2013 to $5bn, as well as opening an international bid round for 10 on- and offshore blocks in the south of the country.

Cairo announced on 31 December that the latest $2.1bn in payments had been made. However, it remains to be seen if monies made it to company accounts by the end of year (and thus will be reflected in the firms’ quarterly filings). BG, owed around $1bn, said on 2 January that it had received “a payment equivalent to $350mn,” which “reduces the company’s domestic receivables balance in Egypt to around $920mn.” (CONTINUED - 805 WORDS)