Egypt - Country Commercial Guide
Oil and Gas Equipment

This is a best prospect industry sector for this country. Includes a market overview and trade data.

Last published date: 2022-08-08

Overview

The oil and gas industry is one of the most dynamic economic sectors in Egypt. Hydrocarbon production is by far the largest single industrial activity in the country, representing around 24 percent of total GDP in FY 2019-2020. FDI in the oil and gas sector has increased from USD 9 billion in FY 2014/2015 to USD 47.8 in FY 2019/2020. The growth rate of oil refining was 25% in FY 2019/2020, the highest rate achieved amongst economic sectors in Egypt, besting wholesale and retail trade, construction, and communication.

Egypt has significant energy resources, both in traditional fossil fuels and in renewable energy. The country’s proven hydrocarbon reserves stood at 3.6 billion barrels of oil and 75.5 trillion cubic feet (tcf) of natural gas at the end of 2020. The Egyptian government encourages international oil companies (IOC) to participate in the oil and gas sector. More than fifty IOCs are currently operating in the country at present. Egypt hopes to achieve self-sufficiency in petroleum products by 2022.

Egypt plays a vital role in international energy markets through the Suez Canal and the Suez-Mediterranean (SUMED) pipeline. Expanded in 2015, the Suez Canal is an important transit route for oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipments travelling southbound from North Africa, Europe and North America to Asia. Fees collected from the operation of these two transit points are significant sources of revenue for the Egyptian government.

Egypt plans to invest around USD 38 billion developing its petrochemicals sector over the next four years. The petrochemical sector represents about 12 percent of industrial production and generates revenues totaling USD 7 billion, equivalent to nearly 3 percent of GDP. Between Egypt has the largest refinery capacity in Africa at a nominal rate of 840,000 barrels per day (bpd), although it operates well below this capacity, with 562,000 bpd processed in 2019. Currently, the government is working on developing 2 projects worth USD 4.5 billion and will result in 40% increase in production rate to reach 4 million tons/year.

As for the refining sector, there are 4 main projects worth USD 6.4 billion and produces 5.9 million tons/year of main petroleum products and resulting in 35% reduction in diesel and gasoline imports from FY 2014/2015 to FY 2019/2020. As part of the development done in the sector, there is 90% increase in petroleum products pipeline capacity, 85% increase in ports handling capacity, and a 20% increase in petroleum fueling stations.

Over the past year, Egypt has seen a twofold increase in compressed natural gas (CNG) stations, from 180 to 352, with another 450 stations to be completed by the end of 2021, along with 250 more awaiting permitting, for a total of 1,000 CNG stations planned. The total number of cars that have been converted to CNG in FY 2019/2020 is 43,000, for a total of 368,000 cars. As part of the presidential initiative to increase the usage of CNG, 400,000 vehicles will run on CNG (including 150,000 converted cars and 250,000 new cars) within the next 3 years.

It is expected that CNG usage will increase by 65% to 50 million tons by FY 2022/2023, whereas petroleum products will see a 35% increase in usage.

The petroleum industry in Egypt is managed by the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, under which five state-owned companies operate. 

  • The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC)
  • The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS)
  • The Egyptian Petrochemicals Holding Company (ECHEM)
  • The Ganoub El-Wadi Holding Company (GANOPE)
  • The Egyptian Mineral Resources Authority (EMRA)

Since the 1990s, the Egyptian government has enacted laws aimed at attracting international, regional and domestic investment. These laws seek to address regulations and procedures that hinder production and inward facilitated investment.

One of the challenges that continues to hamper international investors in Egypt’s oil and gas sector is the long history of delayed payments from EGPC. The government has made efforts to pay out the remaining backlog of arrears to IOCs to encourage more foreign partners to invest in exploration and development activities. The arrears outstanding dropped from USD 6.3 billion in 2011 to USD 850 thousand in 2021. The government is expected to pay the rest of those areas before the end of this year.

The Egypt Petroleum Show (EGYPS), in its fourth year, is the largest oil and gas exhibition in North Africa and the Mediterranean region. It allows Egypt to showcase the development and modernization of its oil and gas sector and its emergence as a regional energy hub, both part of its sustainable development strategy for 2030. EGYPS hosts hundreds of exhibitors, including major international oil and gas companies and dozens of country pavilions under one roof. In 2020, the show attracted more than 20 U.S. companies as exhibitors and conference participants. Senior representatives from the U.S. Departments of Energy and State, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce participated. 

Egypt signed approximately 99 oil and gas exploration deals with IOCs between 2015 and 2021, valued at USD 17 billion. It also offered signing bonuses of more than USD 1 billion for the drilling of 319 wells. In 2020, nine petroleum agreements were signed for oil and natural gas exploration in the Mediterranean, Red Sea and Western Desert, with a minimum investment of around USD 452.3 million.  

U.S. energy giants like ExxonMobil and Chevron entered Egypt’s dynamic upstream sector in 2019 and won additional concessions in early 2020.

The gas growth rate went from -11% in 2015 to 25% in FY 2018/2019 with investments of around USD 27.4 billion across 29 development projects. Crude oil projects did not see a similar favorable return on investment. Egypt’s gas production reached its maximum of around 1.9 million barrels/day in FY 2020/2021.

There are 12.5 million units (residential and corporate) connected to natural gas, 49% of those were completed in the past 7 years. The Haya Kareema presidential initiative (Decent Life) will work on connecting more units in the coming 3 years to reach a total of 19 million households.

In support of its ambitions to become a regional energy hub, Egypt launched the East Mediterranean Gas Forum (EMGF) in January 2019. The seven founding members – Egypt, Israel, Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority – met in January 2020 to initial the EMGF’s draft charter, bringing it one step closer to becoming an official international organization. The United States has joined in the EMGF in an observer status. In addition, Egypt is capitalizing on its strategic location, well-developed energy infrastructure, and large gas reserves in the Eastern Mediterranean, including its Zohr field, to consolidate its position as a regional energy hub. In a deal estimated at USD 15 billion, a consortium of Houston-based Noble Energy, Israel’s Delek Drilling, and Egypt’s Dolphinus Holdings Ltd started pumping natural gas from the Tamar and Leviathan fields in Israel to Egypt in early 2020. In addition, Egypt has concluded an intergovernmental agreement with Cyprus to build a subsea pipeline between the two countries. Egypt plans to use imported gas for domestic use and re-export to global markets through its two LNG facilities on the Mediterranean coast. 

In December 2017, Egypt’s Zohr gas field started production. With an estimated reserve of 30 tcf, the Zohr field is the largest gas discovery in the Mediterranean to date. In August 2019, the processing capacity of Zohr reached over 2.7 billion cubic feet per day (bcfd), five months ahead of schedule. Additionally, the Nooros Gas Field in the Nile Delta produces 32 million cubic meters per day.  Atoll is another gas field in the East Delta that produces 350 million cubic meters per day and 10,000 barrels of condensate.

In December 2019, a new oil and gas well was discovered in the Abu Senan area of the Western Desert. This well is expected to produce around 4,000 barrels of crude oil per day, as well as 10 million cubic meters per day of gas.

Leading Sub-Sectors

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Technology and Peripherals
  • Drilling Rigs and Related Equipment and Accessories
  • Hi-tech Testing and Measuring Equipment
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Related Technology
  • Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) Technology and Peripherals

Opportunities

In 2016, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced a five-year modernization plan for the oil and gas sector. The objective is to design and implement a program to enhance the contribution of the sector to the economic growth of the country and to be a leader that other sectors can follow. This modernization plan is divided into seven different programs: Investment Attraction, Sector Structural Reform, HR Management, Downstream Performance, Upstream Performance, Hub Strategy, and Decision Support and Data Flow.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources in collaboration with the Ministry of Electricity and Renewable energy are developing a green energy strategy to decrease the hydrocarbon resources and develop other areas such as decarbonization, and energy efficiency.

Downstream Performance and Energy Efficiency

More than 20 projects have been identified to improve their performance. The ministry has started feasibility studies for around six projects; they are expected to generate more than USD 120 million in savings. Initiatives to reduce energy consumption identified low-cost opportunities, such as waste heat recovery and flare gas recovery.

Upstream Performance

  • Increase oil and gas production, expand proven reserves, and improve recovery rates and cost performance.
  • Oil and Gas Hub Strategy
  • Expand Egypt’s role in the regional energy sector.
  • Final hub strategy expected to be shared with the public in 2020.
  • Decision Support and Data Flow
  • Increase digitalization of reporting and decision-making processes across the sector.

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources has announced earlier in 2021 the launch of the Digital Upstream Gateway and it is currently used for the current concessions bid round that will end by September 30, 2021.

Competitive Landscape

There is competition, and the procurement system is done through open tenders. Decision makers evaluate proposals according to their technical and commercial merits.

Best Prospects for U.S. Exporters

There are opportunities for U.S. companies in exploration activities, services, sub-contracting, procurement and engineering services, as well as in the petrochemical sector.

Market Entry

The Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources is open for suggestions and recommendations, new technologies and processes.

Tenders: The ministry will announce tenders if they are requesting consultants for feasibility studies, EPCs, new concessions, upgrade of refineries, licensing for petrochemicals, and other related projects. The ministry may also award concessions directly.  

Technical Barriers & Tariffs

Egypt has a free trade agreement with Europe, which makes products from European suppliers very competitive as there are no customs applied. Higher customs fees and shipping costs can put American products at a disadvantage.

Procurement & Tenders

Tenders are announced on the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources website. Any entity that wishes to be notified of current tenders; they need to register the company under the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).

Upcoming Trade Events

  • EGYPS Petroleum Show 2021 (Feb 13 – 15, 2023)

Best Prospects

  • Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Technology and Peripherals
  • Drilling Rigs and Related Equipment and Accessories
  • Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) Related Technology
  • Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) Technology and Peripherals
  • Exploration activities
  • Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC)
  • Petrochemical projects
  • Refinery upgrades
  • Energy efficiency
  • Port upgrades
  • HSE
  • Advanced technologies in enhancing oil recovery
  • Mining

Resources

  • The Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources
  • BP Statistical Review of World Energy 2020
  • Egypt State Information Service 
  • Egypt Oil and Gas Newspaper
  • American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt 
  • Egyptian Government Web Portal

Commercial Specialist in charge of the oil and gas sector: Dina Bissada