Egypt received two cargoes of diesel fuel from Saudi Aramco

by Reuters 0

Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said on Sunday his country had received two cargoes of diesel fuel from Saudi Arabian state-owned oil company Aramco on Friday and Saturday.

Molla was speaking at an energy conference in Cairo.

Saudi Arabia agreed in April last year to provide Egypt with 700,000 tonnes of refined oil products a month for five years, but the cargoes stopped arriving in early October.

Though officials from both sides have denied the existence of tensions or disagreements between the two countries, the two have been at odds on a number of political issues.

Egypt voted in favour of a Russian-backed but Saudi-opposed U.N. resolution on Syria in October, which excluded calls to stop bombing Aleppo.

In January an Egyptian court rejected a government plan to transfer two uninhabited Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia.

Egypt announced last week that the petroleum product shipments would resume.

Egypt had turned to the spot market in recent months after Aramco’s halt of shipments but also sought similar deals to make up the shortfall. Crude from Iraq was expected to arrive in late March as part of an agreement for 1 million barrels a month.

Molla said he was revising the import schedule with distributors following Aramco’s decision to resume shipments.

In the longer term, Egypt’s petroleum products imports will decrease from 35 percent of its consumption needs currently to 5-7 percent of consumption by 2020, Molla said, saving the country billions of dollars per year.

(Reporting by Abdelrahman Adel; Additional reporting by Eric Knecht; Writing by Ahmed Aboulenein; Editing by Dominic Evans)