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Egypt to launch int'l oil exploration tenders .. $ 10bn foreign investments in oil sector

The Egyptian Petroleum Ministry will launch international tenders for natural gas and oil exploration in the Mediterranean Sea and Red Sea in the coming period.

Petroleum Minister Tareq Molla said the Red Sea exploration tenders are expected to be held by the end of 2018 after finalizing ongoing seismic surveys in the area, according to a statement issued by the ministry on Monday.

The tenders – which will target promising exploration areas – fall within the framework of the ministry's strategy to expand exploration activities in new areas.

About $ 10 billion foreign investments poured into oil and natural gas exploration and development of newly-discovered oil fields in the 2018-2019 fiscal year, he said.

These are the fruits of political stability and economic reforms of the Egyptian oil and gas industry which became attractive to international investors and companies, the minister said.

Molla said the ministry is working on a national project to turn Egypt into a regional center for energy trade.

He referred to Egypt's potentials and ongoing developments of the oil and gas infrastructure as well as the new natural gas regulation law and the establishment of the natural gas regulation authority.

Within this context, Egypt has taken tangible steps to further cooperation and partnerships with its partners in the energy domain.

 He cited the recent inking of a memorandum of understanding with the European Union in the energy domain.

He added that Egypt and Cyprus plan to sign an agreement in the coming period to establish a direct natural gas pipeline from Cyprus' Aphrodite gas field to Egypt.

The two countries seek to enhance bilateral cooperation to realize the optimal use of natural gas resources in eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Egypt and Greece also mull beefing up bilateral cooperation in the petroleum and natural gas domains in view of promising cooperation between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece, Molla said.

Molla also noted that there is continued cooperation between Egypt and Jordan in the natural gas domain under a memo inked between both sides.

He added that there are seven new project to boost productivity of Egyptian refinery labs and improving their performance in addition to expanding networks of natural gas and crude oil pipelines.

He added that four mega projects, including Zohr field, were implemented for the first time in one year.

He noted that Zohr field production will reach its peak by the beginning of 2019.

He added that the ministry is also carrying out several project to develop natural gas fields which were discovered in the Mediterranean and Nile Delta to start their production within two years.

Several days ago, UAE's Mubadala Petroleum expressed interest in expanding its oil investments in Egypt, especially in the Red Sea region, as well as  bidding in Egypt's international petroleum tender slated for  the end of 2018.

Last month  Mubadala Petroleum and Italy’s Eni signed an agreement to purchase a 10 percent stake in the Egyptian Shorouk Concession. The stake in the offshore Shorouk Concession encompasses the giant Zohr gas field located in the Mediterranean Sea.

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