The world's largest oil company, the government-owned Saudi ARAMCO, has told Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) – Egypt's state oil company – that it is suspending oil shipments to Egypt, Reuters reported on Monday.
"Aramco informed the EGPC early this month of its inability to supply Egypt with shipments of petroleum products," an Egyptian official claimed. Reuters noted that the official did not give more details about the issue; neither a timeline nor a reason for the suspension was provided.
According to Arabic news website Al-Masdar, the spokesman for the Egyptian Oil Ministry, Hamdy Abdel-Aziz, said that, officially, ARAMCO informed Cairo that the agreed oil products for October will not be delivered. He noted that the reason might be technical or logistical but stressed that the Saudi company did not call off the $23 billion deal to supply Egypt with 700,000 tonnes of oil products each month until 2020.
Oil traders said last week that Egypt had not received its October oil shipment from the Saudis. This, it was reported by Reuters, pushed the state oil buyers to bid for more tenders to compensate for the shortfall.
Meanwhile, Saudi news website Al-Mnatiq reported ARAMCO denials that it had suspended oil shipments to Egypt. It insisted that it has an obligation to fulfil its contract with Cairo. An ARAMCO official said that the reason for the delay is linked to the rearrangement of Saudi production shares.