• Blocks cover 11,849 square kilometres
  • Egypt is looking to reverse declining gas production
  • A total of 15 new exploration deals were signed in January

Egypt is planning a bid round for eight exploratory gas concessions located in the Mediterranean, according to the Oil Ministry.

Egypt Natural Gas Holding Company (Egas) chairman Khaled Abdel Badie told the news agency Reuters that the bid round is likely to be launched before the end of the month.

The blocks that are being made available to energy companies are:

  • West Arish Marine
  • East Port Said Marine
  • North Rumana Marine
  • North Ras al-Ash Marine
  • West al-Timsah Marine
  • South Taneen Marine
  • North Hammad Marine
  • East Alexandria Marine

The blocks cover a total area of 11,849 square kilometres.

Egypt is currently looking to ramp up exploration activities and investment in oil and gas infrastructure in an effort to reverse declines in its gas production.

Egyptian production peaked in 2009, averaging 6.07 billion cubic feet a day (cf/d), according to the BP Statistical Review of Energy.

Between 2009 and 2013, it dropped by 10 per cent, averaging 5.42 billion cf/d in 2013.

The latest announcement from the Oil Ministry comes less than a week after the chairman of state-owned operator Ganoub El-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) announced that the company is planning to launch a bid round for exploratory concessions in 2016.

Another Ganope bid round will see a deadline on 31 March.

The round was launched in the fourth quarter of 2014 and includes blocks in the Gulf of Suez, as well as the West Nile and East Nile areas.

Over January, Egypt signed 15 new exploration deals and amended two other agreements.

Over the whole of 2014, in excess of 50 concession agreements were made, including new agreements and deals to modify existing contracts.

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