Foreign oil firms’ faith in the Egyptian upstream is gradually being restored. Following the latest payments, receivables have been halved over the last four months. This, and talk of increased remuneration for gas output, is spurring firms to increase investment. Oil output hit a four-year high of 695,000 b/d in November (see graph).

Cairo announced on 31 December that it had made payments equivalent to $2.1bn to international oil companies (IOCs) active in the country – although much of this appears to be in Egyptian pounds. It says $3.1bn remains outstanding, down from $4.9bn in October 2014 when it made a previous $1.5bn payments tranche, and $6.4bn prior to this. (CONTINUED - 946 WORDS)