Egypt to resume LNG exports this month, minister says

(Reuters) - Egypt, which faces growing demand for gas from its population of 105 million, will resume LNG exports this month as planned, petroleum minister Tarek El Molla said.

"We are still arranging and preparing for that, quantities are not yet defined," he told Reuters on the sidelines of the ADIPEC energy conference in Abu Dhabi.

Egypt's LNG terminals on the Mediterranean coast have the capacity to ship 12 million metric tons per annum, a figure the country aims to reach in 2025, making it a major LNG exporter.

But high domestic consumption prevented the most populous Arab country from exporting any quantities in June.

Egypt has been trying to position itself as a regional energy hub, selling its own gas and re-exporting Israeli gas as LNG to the Middle East, Africa and Europe.

However, the country faced power cuts in the summer and its natural gas production has fallen to a three-year low.

Molla said he expected the power cuts to ease but did not give a firm date.

"The cause is additional demand due to the heat wave and summer times with longer summer days. I mean it’s hot you know so people consume more," Molla said.

Rapid growth in Egypt's natural gas supplies, boosted by the discovery of the Mediterranean's largest field, turned it from a net importer to an exporter in late 2018.

Its natural gas exports reached a record of 8 million tons in 2022.

This year exports are expected to be 7.5 million tons, with the majority destined for Europe and Turkey and the rest for Asia.

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