Saudi Arabia halts oil product shipments to Egypt


Saudi Arabia has halted shipments of oil products to Egypt for an indefinite period, indicating a growing rift between the two Middle Eastern countries.

Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El-Molla has said that this decision has compelled the country to buy oil products from the world market at a higher price, reported Bloomberg.

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

During a state visit by Saudi King Salman last April, the country agreed to deliver 700,000 tonnes of refined oil products every month for five years to Egypt.

The growing political tension between the two countries on account of Egypt's reluctance to be drawn into Yemen conflict, as well as Saudi's frustration over lack of economic reforms in Egypt, compelled Riyadh to stop the shipments from October, reported Reuters.

An official from the Egyptian oil ministry was quoted by Reuters as saying: “They did not give us a reason. They only informed the authority about halting shipments of petroleum products until further notice.”

Mehr news agency reported that Tarek El-Molla will visit Tehran to meet Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zanganeh regarding the shipment of oil products, although El Molla has denied this report.