Egyptian Minister of Petrleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, stated that Egypt’s arrears to international oil companies (IOC) decreased from $3.6b in September to reach $3.5b by the end of December 2016, reported Reuters.

El Molla added that the Egyptian General Petroleum Coropration (EGPC) pays IOCs regularly every month. Yet, he did not mention any details concerning the timeframe to settle all IOCs arrear.

The IOCs working in the Egyptian oil and gas sector include UK’s BP, Royal Dutch Shell, and Italian Eni, among others. Officials with global firms stated that their companies are injecting investments in the Egyptian oil and gas sector, accordingly they receive money for their equity production from the fields.

In December, the ministry had paid around $100m payment to international oil companies (IOC) in outstanding dues for buying their share of production of crude oil and natural gas produced from their concessions in Egypt. A source with the government had stated that the payment was made to small IOCs including Circle Oil, TransGlobe Energy, and SDX. Circle Oil had received 30% of its total receivables with a payment of $12m to 15m. The source added that oil majors BP, Shell, Eni, and Apache were expected to receive payments soon.