Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said on Monday that the Suez Canal, which used to earn about $10bn a year, has seen its revenues drop by 40-50%.

He made this remark at the opening of the seventh Egypt International Energy Conference and Exhibition (EGYPS 2024) in Cairo, which runs from 19 to 21 February, under the theme “Energy Stimulus: Securing Supplies, Energy Transformation, and Reducing Emissions.”

Al-Sisi blamed the decline on several crises, such as the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ukrainian-Russian conflict, and the instability in Libya and Sudan.

He also mentioned the situation in the Gaza Strip, which affects the shipping corridor that brings billions of dollars to Egypt. He said he was not complaining, but stating the reality.

Al-Sisi met with Murray Auchincloss, the CEO of British Petroleum (BP), on the sidelines of the conference.

The president praised BP’s work in clean energy transition and emissions reduction and said Egypt shared the same vision of a just energy transition.

He also stressed Egypt’s commitment to working with BP, especially in green hydrogen production, to use its resources effectively for the benefit of its people.

Auchincloss, according to a statement from the Egyptian presidency, applauded Egypt’s balanced strategy of developing the energy sector and shifting to clean energy, which taps into Egypt’s huge potential in this field.

He also expressed BP’s interest in increasing its investment in oil and gas exploration in Egypt, which he said was a top destination for the company’s exploration activities, thanks to the existing land and marine facilities.

He added that BP planned to invest $1.5bn in development and exploration projects, with the possibility of another $5bn in the next few years.

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