Iraq will start supplying Egypt with 4 million barrels of Basra crude oil per month, according to an agreement signed by the two countries on Monday.
Iraq would also supply 4,000 tones of diesel fuel to Egypt every day, to help bridge the gap between Egypt's production of 22,000 tons per day and its daily consumption of 35,000 tons, said Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal.
The Iraqi Oil Marketing Company is inspecting the Sidi Kerir port, with the hopes of pumping fuel there from the Sukhna port through the "Samd" pipeline.
Egypt, Jordan and Iraq are to meet next week to finalize the project, Kamal told reporters.
Kamal also said that Egypt would offer a tender for the development of the Nasiriyah and Bin Omar refineries, and for the maintenance of other oil installations. Egypt would also offer support to Iraq to refine its crude oil in Egyptian refineries.
Egypt announced last November that it would invite international investors to submit bids for the development of its refineries, at an estimated cost of about US$10.5 billion, for the production of 32 million tons of petroleum per year, compared to the rate of current 28 million tons.
The Petroleum Ministry, however, has yet to announce any bids.
Egypt is suffering a crisis fuel shortage since the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011. Diesel shortages may grow more severe in March as import allocations fall short, an official source at the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation said.
The senior official, quoted by Turkish news agency Anadolu, said Monday that the Finance Ministry had allocated $300 million in March to diesel imports, though the EGPC requested $500 million.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm