Amid worsening energy shortages in Egypt, Qatar has promised to give the country five free cargoes of liquified natural gas, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The move comes after a directive from Qatar’s Heir Apparent “to provide all sorts of support to the people of Egypt,” said the country’s oil minister, Mohammed al-Sada.
Egypt has faced a natural-gas and diesel shortage since last year, which has led to rising food costs, long lines at filling stations and electricity blackouts.
The energy-supply problems have deepened popular discontent with Egypt’s ruling Islamist government and exacerbated broader economic difficulties there.
According to the Egyptian petroleum ministry, the gas comes as “a gift to the Egyptian people during the summer months, with the first of these shipments beginning at the end of July.”
But the gas will only grant Egypt a short reprieve from its shortage problems, the WSJ states. Each cargo holds around 3.2 billion cubic feet of natural gas, while Egypt consumes some five billion cubic feet of natural gas daily.
In April, Qatar and Egypt reached a gas-swap deal to help bolster the country’s domestic energy supplies, but it fell through over a pricing dispute. However, that issue is now being resolved, said Tarek el-Barkatawy, the head of state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corp.