Egypt has awarded four exploration areas to international oil companies just as the North African nation unveiled a new licensing competition.
According to the country’s Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Resources, Italy’s Eni, UK supermajor BP, QatarEnergy and Russia’s Zarubezhneft secured new blocks in Egypt.
Eni won solo two blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, plus another area in partnership with BP and QatarEnergy. Zarubezhneft landed a block in the Nile Delta.
The companies paid $7.5 million in signature bonuses and have committed to investments totalling about $281 million, which includes the drilling of a minimum of 12 wells.
The round was launched last year and included 12 blocks — half onshore and half offshore. It was backed by state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Company (EGAS).
As Egypt faces growing demand for gas from its population, the country on 25 September launched a new round, this time featuring 23 blocks in proven basins and frontier plays.
Eleven blocks are on offer in the Western Desert, six of which are in the core part of this basin, while the remainder are located in a frontier area flanking the west bank of the Nile River, north of the Aswan Dam.
Another eight blocks are available in the oil-prone Gulf of Suez, while four are up for grabs to the south, in the Red Sea.