Egypt awards offshore oil and gas exploration licenses

Offshore staff

CAIRO, Egypt – Egypt has awarded four new licenses to explore for oil and gas off its Mediterranean coast, according to a Reuters report.

Egypt’s state gas company EGAS had awarded one license to BP and one to Italy’s Edison, the company said in a statement.  A consortium involving BP and Eni’s Egyptian subsidiary had also picked up a block as had another consortium involving Eni, BP and France’s Total.

EGAS head Khaled Abdel Badie told Reuters after the announcement that Egypt was preparing to launch a new bidding round for offshore gas exploration in the Mediterranean in the first half of 2016.

Eni announced in late August it had discovered the largest known gas field in the Mediterranean off the Egyptian coast.

The company predicts the Zohr field could hold 30 tcf, covering an area of about 100 sq ki (39 sq mi). It could be a game-changer for Egypt, whose $3.5 billion debts to foreign energy companies had made it increasingly difficult to attract major investments.

The EGAS statement said the new concessions would see the companies making total investments of at least $306 million, conducting seismic studies and sinking eight discovery wells.


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