Saudi oil giant Aramco to resume deliveries to Egypt
CAIRO - Saudi giant Aramco is to resume deliveries of oil products to Egypt that have been suspended since last October, the Egyptian petroleum ministry said, amid differences over the Syrian conflict.
"It was agreed that the Saudi side will resume shipping Aramco's petroleum products in accordance with the commercial contract between the (Egyptian General) Petroleum Corporation and Aramco," the ministry said late on Wednesday.
"Currently the timeline for receiving the shipments is being discussed," it added.
During a visit to Cairo by King Salman in April last year, Saudi Arabia agreed to finance Egyptian imports of refined products from Aramco for five years in a $23-billion (21.5-billion-euro) deal.
But in October, Aramco halted the agreed deliveries of 700,000 tonnes of petroleum products a month without offering any explanation.
The move came after Egypt voted in favour of a Russian-drafted UN Security Council resolution on Syria that Saudi Arabia strongly opposed.
Moscow is a staunch supporters of President Bashar al-Assad's regime while Riyadh is a key backer of the rebels.
Riyadh has also been frustrated by Cairo's unwillingness to send ground troops to join a Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen.
The ministry said that "according to Aramco," the suspension of shipments was due to "special commercial conditions amid fluctuations in international oil prices."
This coincided with "maintenance work on the refineries," the ministry added.
Saudi Arabia has provided Egypt with billions of dollars in aid and credit since then army chief, now President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi overthrew Islamist Mohamed Morsi in 2013.
The kingdom is strongly opposed to the now outlawed Muslim Brotherhood movement to which Morsi belongs.