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.
Four of the largest concessions - South Mariut, Southeast El-Mansoura, West Darag Onshore and North Qarun - are located in the Nile Delta, with the biggest, West Darag, covering some 8,970 square kilometres of territory between the Nile and the Red Sea coast. Four other blocks are located in the desert to the west of the delta, while seven smaller concessions are on offer in the northern spur of the Gulf of Suez. The EGPC bid round comes on the heels of a tender issued in June by Ganoub el-Wadi Petroleum Company (Ganope)for five blocks in the relatively underexplored south. The two biggest blocks on offer, the 36,852-square-kilometre South Diyur concession and the 28,718-square-kilometre South Siwa concession, are in the far north of Ganope's area of responsibility, close to the Libyan border. Bids are due on 16 November (MEED 4:6:04).
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