A supermarket seller stands near an emergency light during power outage at his shop in Cairo
Egypt's energy crisis has led to regular blackouts in major cities. Reuters

The Egyptian government has forged an agreement with foreign oil companies, to pay its arrears in full by 2017, says Egypt's state newspaper al-Ahram.

Under a previous plan, Egypt would have paid 21bn Egyptian pounds ($3bn, £1.7bn, €2.2bn) but it has now agreed to pay the full amount of $6bn by the same date.

The Ministry of Petroleum has agreed to handover $1.5bn to companies including BG and BP, the newspaper reported.

A number of foreign oil and gas companies had suspended operations in Egypt amid three years of political and social turmoil that followed the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak in 2011.

Moreover, amid an escalating energy crisis, the Egyptian government had stopped paying its bills and suspended some gas plants that were part-owned by foreign companies.

While foreign companies usually operate in Egypt in conjunction with the government, Cairo has been taking increasing amounts of its agreed share in recent years. It has failed to meet its own export obligations, as it seeks to cover the ever-rising demand in its own domestic market.

Egypt has also suffered from plunging foreign exchange reserves, used to pay foreign firms, as tourists have been scared off by the countrywide disorder. President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, former head of the armed forces, has promised to restore security in a bid to attract foreign cash to the country.