حفلة 2024

Egypt to launch new oil and gas exploration auction by month-end

Egypt is set to launch a new oil and gas exploration auction round by the end of this month, its petroleum minister said on Monday.

The minister’s remarks came a month after the North African nation signed exploration agreements with international oil majors.

State-run firms, Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) plan to launch the tender by the end of February, Africa Oil+Gas Report reported, citing Minister Tarek el-Molla.

Since the discovery of the giant gas field Zohr in Egyptian waters in 2015, which operator Eni describes as the largest ever gas find in the Mediterranean, oil majors have expressed growing interest in natural gas and oil exploration in Egypt and its offshore area.

Last summer, international oil and gas majors 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 more acreage for exploration, one 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 was awarded 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’s Egyptian unit announced 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,” ExxonMobil Egypt said on LinkedIn.

The other U.S. supermajor, Chevron was also among the foreign companies that were awarded exploration deals last month. France’s Total, which leads a consortium that includes Shell, also 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 licence, to be developed through a tie-in to nearby existing infrastructure,” Kevin McLachlan, Senior Vice President Exploration at Total, said.

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