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Several oil companies from Asia, Europe and the US have already viewed data made available by Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) as part of its recently launched first bid round for 2005. Companies interested in the thirteen new blocks on offer, which will be awarded on a production sharing basis, have been given until 13 February to submit their bids (see Tenders). The exploration blocks are located in the Gulf of Suez, the Eastern Desert and the Western Desert. The concessions are for 20 years and may be extended by up to five years on EGPC and government approval.