CAIRO, Sept 1 (Reuters) - Egypt is preparing a timetable for repaying arrears on debts it owes to foreign oil companies operating in the country, the Petroleum Ministry said in an emailed statement on Sunday.
The companies will be asked to agree to the proposal, which is being drawn up in coordination with various government entities. The debts have been accumulated over several years.
It hopes that by paying back the arrears it will encourage companies to increase investments in oil exploration and development, it said.
The government has accumulated debts of several billion dollars for oil and gas it has bought from companies producing within Egypt.