• The deals were ratified on 4 November by President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi
  • They have been signed with Italy’s Eni, US-based Apache and Tunisia’s HBS
  • Egypt wants to boost domestic hydrocarbons production to keep up with rising demand

Egypt’s President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi ratified six oil and gas exploration contracts worth a combined $2.2bn on 4 November, as part of the country’s drive to increase domestic hydrocarbons production, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Petroleum.

Four of the agreements are between Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Italian oil company Eni.

The four agreements signed with Eni are worth $2.1bn and grants the company permission to explore areas in the Sinai peninsula, the Gulf of Suez and the Mediterranean, as well as areas in the Nile Delta.

The deal was first announced on 1 June by Egypt’s oil ministry and built on a memorandum of understanding (MoU) that was signed by the two parties at the Egypt Economic Development Conference held in Sharm el-Sheikh in March.

Under the deal, Eni has agreed to invest three-quarters of the total sum in exploration, development and operation in Sinai and the Nile Delta.

The other two deals are with US-based oil company Apache and Tunisia’s HBS.

The deal with Apache is worth $30m and grants the company permission to explore south of Um Barka in the Western Desert, drilling at least two wells.

EGPC’s deal with HBS is worth $9m and will see the company drill four wells in the Halif area of the Western Desert.

Egypt is in the midst of a gas shortage that has caused power cuts and hurt energy-intensive industries. President Al-Sisi wants to ramp up hydrocarbons production in an effort to meet rising demand.

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