The round covers 12 blocks, in the Gulf of Sinai, the Red Sea and the eastern and western deserts.

Interested companies can purchase data on the blocks from 1 April. Bids are expected by mid-July.

Mohamed Ezat Sakr, vice-chairman for exploration and production at Ganope, told MEED in early March that a bid round would be launched by the end of the month (MEED 14:3:08).

Ganope plans a further four licensing rounds for the period 2009-2012, Sakr told MEED.

Table: Bid round acreage

Block number Block name Area (square kilometres)
1 Ras Benas 7,077
2 North Mersa Alam 10,000
3 South Quseir 8,287
4 South Sinai 2,600
5 South Gulf of Suez 108
6 West Wadi Dib 506
7 S. Wadi El Sahl 657
8 S. Wadi Mahareeth 11,427
9 Wadi Mahreeth 9,316
10 Qaret El Dahab 4,660
11 El Ghazaliyat 7,137
12 Darb El Arbaien 6,160

Source: Ganope