Egypt’s former oil minister and now Prime Minister, Sharif Isma’il, has appointed former state oil firm EGPC head, Tarek El Molla as his successor, and his first job will be to deal with the sporadic fuel shortages affecting certain regions of the country.

Following his 12 September swearing-in ceremony, Mr Molla confirmed that “securing fuel supplies for the domestic market” is one of his priorities. Another top priority of his ministry is to continue “the current as well as future development projects,” with regard to both the ongoing oil and gas exploration in the country, which has most recently yielded the discovery of 30 tcf of gas in the offshore Mediterranean (MEES, 4 September), as well as last month’s inauguration of the expanded Suez Canal. The new $8.5bn canal expansion is expected to raise revenue from $5.5bn last year to $13.2bn by 2023, according to government estimates, and will allow two-way traffic along certain parts of the canal, speeding-up transit times (MEES, 31 July). (CONTINUED - 833 WORDS)