Small independent IOCs are a mainstay of the Egyptian upstream. Their output has slumped as low oil prices and delayed payments led them to slash capex. But 2018 may see a modest upturn.

Egypt’s economy is on the up: foreign reserves rose to a record $37.2bn at end-2017 and the IMF forecasts 2018 growth of 4.8%, an eight-year high. At least some of this is filtering through to IOCs active in the country with the sums they are owed by EGPC falling to $2.3bn as of mid-2017, and the oil...