Local oil exploration and services company Tharwahas been awarded exploration and production rights to five concessions in the Western Desert and the Sinai, four months after the company was set up by Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), Ganoub el-Wadi Petroleum Company (Ganope), National Investment Bank and Egyptian Natural Gas Company (Gasco). Under the terms of the production sharing agreements, Tharwa will be required to invest a minimum of $86.5 million in exploring and developing the blocks (MEED 2:4:04).
The acreage includes the 23,300-square-kilometre El-Farafra block, the 7,400-square-kilometre West Ghazalat block and a 16,000-square-kilometre block in the Siwa area, all of which are in the Western Desert. The agreements also cover a 4,500-square-kilometre offshore area in the Mediterranean and a small block in the northern Sinai. Bids are due on 28 September for 15 new exploration blocks in the Nile Delta region, the Western Desert and the Gulf of Suez, which are being tendered by EGPC. A tender was also issued in June by Ganope for five new blocks in the south, for which bids are due on 16 November (MEED 23:7:04).