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State-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC)has released for tender 15 new exploration blocks in the Nile Delta region, the Western Desert and the Gulf of Suez. Bids are due on 28 September for the blocks, which cover a total area of 30,804 square kilometres. Under the terms of local production sharing agreements, companies have the option to take up a 20-year development lease after the first discovery of hydrocarbons.