The World Bank lent $50m loan to Kuwait Energy Company (KEC) to develop its oil and gas assets in Yemen and Egypt to help improve their economies.

The World Bank’s private sector loans subsidiary International Finance Corporation (IFC) signed the deal with KEC on 23 September.

KEC produces oil from the Nabrajah Block in southeast Yemen, which it holds a 28.3 per cent stake in. The concession produces 4,485 barrels a day (b/d) of oil. KEC is also part of two consortiums exploring a total of five blocks in the country.

The firm is also a partner in five exploration and production blocks in Egypt, which produce a total of 7,950 b/d of oil.

The loan will use a murabaha structure, common to Islamic finance. IFC sees the deal as an opportunity to develop the economies and employment prospects of Yemen and Egypt.

“Egypt and Yemen have seen stagnating or dropping oil production in recent years and need companies such as Kuwait Energy to increase the production of oil and gas so that the sector can continue to provide jobs, foreign exchange reserves and government revenues in both countries,” according to a statement by the IFC on 23 September.