In March 2005, Gazprom, as part of its overseas expansion, signed a memorandum of understanding with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) that provided for Gazprom's possible involvement in existing projects for hydrocarbon production, transportation, processing and marketing, including liquefied natural gas (LNG).
During his official visit to Egypt, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller held meetings with Egyptian Petroleum Minister Sameh Fahmy, Foreign Trade and Industry Minister Rashid Mohamed Rashid and EGAS CEO Sherif Ismail.
Gazprom said in a statement that the officials discussed in particular the possible involvement of the Russian energy giant in projects for the exploration and production of oil and natural gas in Egypt, production and delivery of LNG within the country, construction of gas transportation and distribution systems and other issues.
"The organization of Egyptian [natural] gas exports on the markets of Middle East countries was pronounced to be one of the promising directions of [mutual] cooperation," the statement said.
Egypt, which has proven natural gas reserves of 1.89 trillion cubic meters and oil reserves of about 500 million metric tons (3.68 billion barrels), produced 41 billion cubic meters of natural gas in 2005, putting about 8 billion cubic meters of the total volume for export, and 33 billion cubic meters for domestic use.
The country began exporting gas via the Egypt-Jordan pipeline in 2003 and commissioned its first LNG plant in 2004. It is also ranked fifth in the world in terms of LNG exports.