Petroleum Minister Osama Kamal said that Egypt has stopped exporting gas to Jordan and Spain because of increasing gas consumption on the domestic market.
The two countries understand why Egypt made this decision, he added.
The minister said in his speech on Monday before the Shura Council that he has submitted a bill that would strengthen penalties against black market fuel dealers that will be discussed by the Cabinet in its Wednesday meeting.
“There would be tighter inspections for distributors of petroleum products, as well as greater use of natural gas and supply stations for natural gas-consuming vehicles after the state provides the necessary land,” he said.
Kamal stressed that the government would not abolish subsidies for those who deserve them because this would increase the inflation rate, especially for necessities for regular citizens.
“The state pays LE68 per butane cylinder so they are subsidized for all citizens,” he said. “We need to deliver natural gas to 4 million housing units per year, but we have had problems expanding the supply pipelines network because of narrow streets and the lack of sewage systems."
The budget for fuel subsidies and petroleum products was LE114 billion in the fiscal year 2011/2012, he added, noting that the government retroactively raised the price of fuel for high energy consuming industries in May.
The minister claimed that a number of sites in Upper Egypt and on the borders of the country would be explored for oil and gas reserves.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm