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Saudi Aramco halts oil shipments to Egypt indefinitely

Saudi Aramco halted refined oil exports to Egypt last month [Anadolu]

Date of publication: 7 November, 2016

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Saudi Arabia has said there will be no oil supplies to Egypt 'until further notice' as speculation arises that Cairo might seek help from Tehran.

Saudi Arabian state oil firm Saudi Aramco has halted shipments of petroleum products to Egypt indefinitely, an Egyptian official said Monday.

Speaking to Reuters, the unnamed official said that no reason was given for the move.

"They did not give us a reason. They only informed the authority about halting shipments of petroleum products until further notice," the official said.

The news was also confirmed by Egypt's oil minister Tarek el-Molla while on a trip to Abu Dhabi.

Despite agreeing in April to provide Egypt with 700,000 tonnes of oil per month for five years, Saudi Arabia halted supplies of refined oil products last month.

This came amid rising tensions between Riyadh and Cairo over regional conflicts, including Syria's war.

On Sunday, international news outlets reported that el-Molla would be visiting Iran, Saudi Arabia's regional arch-rival, for the first time to strike lucrative oil deals. 

Speaking to Reuters on Monday, the minister denied that the trip would be taking place, contradicting an earlier report by the same agency.

The agency cited officials from el-Molla's delegation, who reportedly said that the Egyptian minister would be meeting with senior Iranian oil officials in Tehran.

Saudi Arabia and Iran have been locked in a cold war, with Riyadh appearing to be angered by Cairo's ovetures to Tehran.

Riyadh officials have also been furious about the close relationship developing between Egypt and Russia, particularly on military issues.

Agencies contributed to this story.

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