CEO of the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), Tarek el-Molla, has outlined plans to repay some of the multibillion-dollar debt owed to its foreign partners.

The ministry will repay $2bn to foreign companies before the end of the year. This will include $1bn paid before the end of the September and a further $1bn that will be borrowed from foreign banks and is expected to be paid out to EGPC’s foreign partners before the end of December.

EGPC owed $5.9bn to foreign oil companies at the end of June.

The state oil company is struggling to raise funds to pay its foreign partners as the country tries to reel in a budget deficit that amounted to 14 per cent of GDP at the end of last year.

Egypt is currently going through its worst energy crisis in decades after years of underinvestment in the oil and gas sector.

EGPC’s failure to pay on time has been cited by a number of large oil and gas companies as a key reason for holding back investments in Egyptian assets.