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Aramco Halts Petroleum Product Shipments to Egypt until Further Notice

Source: Reuters 11/7/2016, Location: Egypt

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National oil firm Saudi Aramco informed Egyptian authorities that it would halt shipments of petroleum products to Egypt "until further notice", an Egyptian official told Reuters.

The official said Aramco did not give a reason for halting the shipments, but that Egypt had launched tenders to cover its demand for petroleum products in November.

"They did not give us a reason. They only informed the authority about halting shipments of petroleum products until further notice," the official said.

On a visit to Abu Dhabi, Egyptian Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla confirmed to reporters that Aramco would halt shipments indefinitely.

In April, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Egypt with 700,000 tonnes of petroleum products a month for five years, as part of aid to the struggling Egyptian economy. The $23 billion agreement between Aramco and Egyptian General Petroleum Corp was signed after an official visit by Saudi Arabia's King Salman.

Last month, Aramco informed EGPC that it would halt supplies of refined oil products, but it was not clear at the time if the freeze was only for October.

Aramco has not commented on the halt. Disagreements between the two governments about regional politics may be the cause; also, after years of low oil prices Saudi Arabia itself is no longer as rich as it was, making it more difficult to be generous to its allies.

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