Press Releases

IFC Supports Private Oil and Gas Sector in Middle East and North Africa, Promoting Good Environmental and Social Management

In Cairo:
Desmond Dodd
Phone: +202-24619140

In Washington, DC:
Josef Skoldeberg
Phone: +1 (202) 473-6978

Washington DC / Cairo, September 23, 2009—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has signed a $50 million financing agreement with Kuwait Energy Company to help the company accelerate the development and exploration of its oil and gas assets in Egypt and Yemen and to promote good environmental and social management in the region’s oil and gas sector.

IFC’s financing package consists of a $35 million reserve based facility and a $15 million income participation facility.  The financing uses a murabaha structure, commonly used in Islamic finance transactions.

Kuwait Energy has also sought IFC’s input on environmental, social and corporate governance best practices. Kuwait Energy and IFC have jointly developed a detailed environmental and social action plan to enhance the company’s operations in Egypt and Yemen. IFC is also planning to conduct an in-depth corporate governance assessment for Kuwait Energy to help it prepare for a potential listing on an international stock exchange.  

“We are benefiting greatly from IFC’s expertise at this early stage of our company’s growth”, said Sara Akbar, Kuwait Energy’s CEO, the only female top executive in the region’s oil and gas sector. “IFC has executed a highly customized financing and are providing us valuable advice on environmental and social management”.

IFC’s funds will help Kuwait Energy develop a series of recent oil discoveries in Egypt and carry out additional exploration in Yemen.  Egypt and Yemen have seen stagnating or dropping oil production in recent years and need companies such as Kuwait Energy to increase the production of oil and gas so that the sector can continue to provide jobs, foreign exchange reserves and government revenues in both countries.

“This transaction provides a unique opportunity for IFC to support a new class of local private oil and gas companies in the Middle East and North Africa that are expanding regionally and providing valuable jobs and revenues to governments”, said Lance Crist, IFC’s Global Head for Oil and Gas. “Kuwait Energy shares our commitment to setting new standards for environmental and social management in the region and we look forward to a long term relationship with them”.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, creates opportunity for people to escape poverty and improve their lives. We foster sustainable economic growth in developing countries by supporting private sector development, mobilizing private capital, and providing advisory and risk mitigation services to businesses and governments. Our new investments totaled $15 billion in fiscal 2009, helping play a prominent role in addressing the financial crisis. For more information, visit

About Kuwait Energy Company
Established in Kuwait in August 2005, Kuwait Energy is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company with operations across the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe, and Pakistan. The company is one of the fastest growing regional oil and gas companies and has a total of 19 exploration blocks in seven countries, 11 producing assets in six countries, and operates 10 fields in four countries. Kuwait Energy directly employs over 200 people and is at the forefront of empowering local workforces and female participation in the sector. Over 95% of its employees in Egypt and Yemen are local, while 20% of its total staff is female.