As the largest non-OPEC oil producer in Africa as well as the continent’s second-largest natural gas producer, Egypt’s hydrocarbons resources and production play a central role in the nation’s economy. While the sector was nationalised in the 1960s, more recent reorganisations have created separate authorities for oil, gas and petrochemicals, which has allowed the private sector to play a bigger role. At the end of the 2000s, around 80% of oil and gas services were operated by the private sector and 90% of exploration activity was conducted by multinationals. Exploration activities have continued even amidst the ongoing political transition, with several recent discoveries adding to both oil and natural gas production. However, a number of long-standing challenges remain. These include an oil production level that has stayed flat in recent years and a rapidly rising demand for energy in the domestic market that has placed increasing pressure on Egypt’s exported gas supply.
This chapter contains interviews with Sherif Ismail, Minister of Petroleum; G Steven Farris, CEO, Apache Corporation; and Ahmed Mostafa Emam Shaaban, Minister of Electricity and Energy.