The government's debt to foreign oil companies increased by US$800 million in the first quarter of 2014 to reach $5.7 billion versus $4.9 billion last December, said Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation CEO Tarek al-Mulla.
The government had paid $1.5 billion at the end of last year.
Among the foreign oil companies operating in Egypt are Eni, Edison and the BG Group. They still plan to invest in new projects, yet the debt issue remains a challenge.
Meanwhile, Petroleum Minister Sherif Ismail said the government would pay $3.5 billion by 2016.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm