Dubai — Egypt has launched an international oil and gas bidding round spanning 24 areas, the petroleum and mineral resources minister said Feb. 18, as the North African nation seeks to ramp up exploration and boost production from its hydrocarbon assets.
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The 24 areas span the Gulf of Suez, the Western Desert and Eastern and the Western Mediterranean, Tarek al-Molla said in a ministry statement. The round was launched on a new digital platform, Egypt Upstream Gateway, he added.
Egypt is accelerating exploration activity across the country in a bid to boost its production of oil and gas.
The country reached a record gas production capacity of 7.2 Bcf/d in 2020 and actual production of 6.6 Bcf/d. Egypt pumped 638,000 mt of oil and condensate in 2020.
Egypt signed 22 oil and gas exploration agreements in 2020, with companies that include ExxonMobil and Chevron. The country made 62 oil and gas discoveries in 2020.
The importance of the East Mediterranean's gas came to the fore in 2015 with Eni's discovery of the 30 Tcf supergiant Zohr field in Egyptian waters, helping bring the North African country back to self-sufficiency in gas in 2018.
Italy's Eni made a new gas discovery in shallow waters offshore Egypt in the Great Nooros Area, in which BP is a partner, bringing total estimated gas in place there to more than 4 Tcf, the company said Sept. 16. Eni has a 75% stake in the license, and BP 25%.
Longer term, with Mediterranean countries taking growing quantities of LNG, Egypt is expected to gain significant market influence.