The Islamic Corporation for the Insurance of Investment and Export Credit (ICIEC) has provided US$80mn of reinsurance support against political risk for oil and gas exploration in Egypt.

The deal backs the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (Opic)’s risk insurance policy for Apache Corporation’s exploration efforts in Egypt, for a duration of five years.

ICIEC acting chief executive Hani Salem Sonbol says: “ICIEC’s involvement in this transaction is in line with its strategy of supporting member countries with respect to retaining foreign direct investments in the country during this critical transitional period for Egypt.”

Houston-based Apache has been conducting oil and gas exploration in Egypt’s Western Desert since 1994, under a number of government concessions.

Since 2004, Opic has provided US$300mn of political risk insurance to Apache in Egypt, with reinsurance agreements from both US private market and multilateral insurers bringing this political risk coverage to over US$1bn of political risk coverage.

Some of this coverage expired in late 2011 and was not renewed, so Opic approached Miga to arrange US$150mn of reinsurance for Apache’s investment.