Egypt is planning to hold an international tender for 11 oil and gas exploration blocks during the second half of the 2015-2016 fiscal year according to the head of the state-owned Egypt Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas), Khaled Abdel Badie.

In a statement released on 17 January he said that the blocks would be located in the Mediterranean Sea and Nile Delta.

Egypt will also sign three contracts for Mediterranean Sea development worth a total of $500m, according to Badie.

In his statement he said that over the 2015-2016 fiscal year 760 million cubic feet a day of new gas production will have come online due to new projects and development wells.

After years of declining domestic hydrocarbon production and rapidly increasing energy consumption Egypt is currently reliant on imports of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and crude oil to meet energy needs.

In an effort to boost oil and gas upstream activity Egypt has held a series of international bid rounds over recent years.

At the end of 2013, both Egas and EGPC launched bid rounds, for which the deadlines were originally set for May 2014, but were then extended until early July.

The Egas round comprised of eight blocks in the offshore Mediterranean; Egypt General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) offered 15 blocks in the Gulf of Suez, the Delta and the Western Desert.

A total of six blocks were awarded in the Egas round and seven were awarded in the EGPC round.

Two further two international bid rounds for exploratory concessions were held in 2015.

Ganoub El-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope), the state-owned company responsible for managing and supervising oil and gas activities in Upper Egypt, awarded five blocks in August 2015 and Egas awarded four blocks in its international exploration Mediterranean bid round in October 2015.