Cairo signs three hydrocarbons exploration deals

30 August 2017

Deals signed for 16 new fields

Cairo has signed three oil and gas exploration agreements for 16 new fields in the country’s Western Desert area.

The three deals are worth a total of about $84m, according to a statement from Egypt’s Ministry of Petroleum & Mineral Resources.

The first deal is with UK/Dutch Shell, which will invest $35.5m on explorations in the northern Oum Baraka area in the Western Desert. The second and third deals will see the US-based Apex Oil Company, which will be operating in Egypt for the first time, invest $26.5m and $19.4m on the Southeast Maliha and Badr el-Din areas.

In March 2015, the petroleum ministry said its strategy to revitalise the energy sector would require $70bn of investment up to 2022, including $25bn in new funding. The biggest area of investment identified by the ministry is gas development, which it estimates requires some $21.5bn of spending, just under a third of the total.

The authorities have held six international oil and gas licencing rounds since 2013, and two more are planned this year for nine blocks.

On 8 June, Egypt said it had paid off $2.2bn in arrears to foreign oil firms in the previous three weeks, leaving $2.3bn still to be repaid, the lowest level in many years.

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