Egypt offers auction of oil and gas exploration concessions

Reuters reports that Egyptian General Petroleum Corp. (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Co. (EGAS) announced Dec. 30 an international auction for 22 concessions for oil and gas exploration in accordance with production-sharing agreements.

The concessions are for areas in the Suez Canal, Egypt's Western Desert, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Nile Delta. The auction will end on May 19.

In order to spur new investments in the region, Egyptian officials have suggested that pricing arrangements should be changed to reflect the high costs of offshore exploration in deep water. According to industry estimates, Egypt pays offshore gas producers on average around $2-$3 per million British thermal units. Comparable payments for gas in Britain are currently above $10 and for Asian supply above $17.

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