The New Arab Logo

Breaking News
Egypt secures 'alternative oil sources' after Saudi halt: ministry Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Egypt secures 'alternative oil sources' after Saudi halt: ministry

Aramco's shipments represent 40 percent of refined oil products imported by Egypt [AFP]

Date of publication: 12 October, 2016

Share this page:
  • 0

  • twitter
Egypt's petroleum ministry has sought alternative suppliers to meet its refined oil products needs for October after Saudi Aramco halted the expected delivery of 700,000 tonnes for this month.

Egypt has contracted 'foreign suppliers' to provide the required amount of refined oil products for October after Saudi Aramco halted the expected delivery of 700,000 tonnes for this month, the petroleum ministry announced on Tuesday.

The move by the Saudi oil giant was a surprise as Riyadh has been one of the main regional backers of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and had agreed to finance Egyptian imports from Aramco for five years in a $23 billion deal reached during Saudi King Salman's visit to Egypt in April.

"The Saudi Aramco company verbally informed the General Petroleum Corporation earlier this month that it would halt its supplies for October, without offering any reasons," ministry spokesman Hamdy Abdel Aziz told AFP.

Egypt angered its ally on Saturday by voting in favour of a Russian-drafted resolution on the conflict in Syria, which Saudi Arabia had strongly opposed.

Riyadh had backed a French text, which was vetoed by Moscow, that would have demanded an end to airstrikes on rebel-held areas of Syria's battleground city of Aleppo.

But Abdel Aziz insisted that Aramco's decision came before the Security Council vote and was unrelated.

"Aramco told us about the issue before the Security Council meeting. This is a commercial issue and not political. It is normal for some shipments to be late," he said.

Abdel Aziz did not elaborate on when he expected Aramco to resume shipments but insisted: "The deal with Saudi is ongoing."

The Saudi Aramco company verbally informed the General Petroleum Corporation earlier this month that it would halt its supplies for October, without offering any reasons.
- Hamdy Abdel Aziz

Aramco's shipments represent 40 percent of refined oil products imported by Egypt, according to Abdel Aziz.

Saudi Arabia has supported Cairo with billions of dollars in aid, grants, oil products and cash deposits since Sisi overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

The grants represent a main pillar in Egypt's foreign reserves, which stood at $19.59 billion at the end of September, its highest in over a year.

The two governments have had some differences over the Syrian conflict and over Egypt's unwillingness to send ground troops to join the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen.

But Saudi Arabia's UN envoy, Abdullah al-Muallimi, expressed dismay at Saturday's UN vote by Egypt.

"It was painful for the Senegalese and Malaysian positions to be closer to the Arab consensus than that of the Arab representative," he told Al-Jazeera television.

"This obviously was painful. But obviously the question should be directed to Egypt's ambassador."

Agencies contributed to this report.

The New ArabComments

Most Popular

Most Popular

    Read More