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Egypt Set To Launch Next Oil & Gas Auction This Month

Egypt’s state oil and gas companies are set to launch the country’s new oil and gas exploration bid round by the end of this month, the petroleum minister said a month after the North African nation signed exploration agreements with international oil majors.

Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), the state-held oil and gas firms, are set to launch the tender by the end of February, Africa Oil+Gas Report reported, citing Egypt’s Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla.   

Since the discovery of the giant gas field Zohr in Egyptian waters in 2015, which operator Eni says is the largest ever gas discovery in the Mediterranean, oil majors have been interested in natural gas and oil exploration in Egypt and its offshore area.

Last summer, Eni, BP, and Total said they had successfully tested a new natural gas discovery in Egypt’s shallow waters.

Egypt is now looking to award additional acreage for exploration, a month after signing nine exploration agreements for offshore oil and gas exploration with some of the largest oil and gas companies in the world.

In one of those deals, ExxonMobil acquired exploration acreage offshore Egypt with co-venturers Tharwa Petroleum Company and EGAS, in the Star Offshore block next to the North East El Amirya Offshore block in the Nile Delta, ExxonMobil Egypt said in January.

“This new agreement strengthens our exploration portfolio in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean and complements ExxonMobil’s long-standing downstream presence in Egypt, since 1902,” Exxon’s Egyptian unit said on LinkedIn.

The other U.S. supermajor, Chevron, was also among the companies that signed exploration deals last month.

So was France’s Total, which— leading a consortium that includes Shell—

signed an exploration and production agreement for the North Ras Kanayis Offshore block in the Herodotus Basin in the Mediterranean.

“It reinforces our presence in Egypt, following a gas discovery made in July 2020 with the Bashrush well on the North El Hammad license, to be developed through a tie-in to nearby existing infrastructure,” said Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration at Total.  

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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