Egypt launches international bidding round for 10 Red Sea exploration blocks

Egypt launches international bidding round for 10 Red Sea exploration blocks
Vast sums, estimated at well over $100bn, are to be pumped into the sub-Saharan African industry.
Published: 11 March 2019 - 5:30 a.m.
By: Carla Sertin

The South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company has announced an international bidding round for 10 offshore oil and gas exploration blocks in the Red Sea, according to the country's Ministry of Petroleum.

The ministry announced that companies can now review technical data and buy data packages as part of the bid round. Bidding will close on August 1, 2019, with the successful bidder entering into a production sharing agreement. The 10 blocks, B1 to B10, are each slightly over 3,000 square kilometres.

The offshore segment has been kind to Egypt, which has become a net exporter of gas with production of 6.8bn cubic feet of gas per day. It boasts the largest gas field in the Mediterranean, Zohr, which Eni says is producing 2bn cubic feet of gas per day, following first gas in December 2017. Egypt's Minister of Petroleum Tarek el-Molla has said that he is aiming to attract $10bn in investments into the country's oil and gas sector this year.

The announcement noted that this bidding round falls "within the context of the Ministry of Petroleum’s strategy to achieve the optimum economic utilisation of all potentials and natural resources to contribute to the sustainable development of Egypt."

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