Just as gasworld prepares to go to print with its refinery-themed August issue, OPEC member Libya is believed to be planning an oil refinery and natural gas pipeline in Egypt - helping to raise Libyan investment in its Arab neighbour to $10bn over the next two years.

Libyan Prime Minister Al-Baghdadi Ali al-Mahmoudi told a news conference of late in Cairo, that Egypt and Libya had signed an agreement to boost Libyan investment in sectors such as energy, agriculture and real estate, as well as loosening restrictions on movement between both countries.

“We have now about $2bn (of investments) and we expect that within a period of two years maximum this will reach $10bn,” he noted and added, “It was agreed that an oil refinery will be built west of Alexandria with Libyan funding and it will be used for Libyan crude.”

The refinery would have a capacity of 250,000 barrels per day (bpd), Mahmoudi indicated, while Egypt currently pumps around 700,000 bpd of crude oil and is attracting domestic and foreign investment to its energy sector.

Egypt also said last year that Indian group Reliance was planning to invest $10bn in the oil refining, petrochemical and plastics industries in the Arab country, with North Africa clearly attracting a strong investment climate from the oil and gas sector.

Mahmoudi said the newly announced deal included a natural gas pipeline between Alexandria and the Libyan city of Tobruk, according to a report by Reuters news agency.