Royal Dutch Shell, Eni, BP and Exxon Mobil were among the winners in one of Egypt’s largest ever oil and gas exploration tenders on Tuesday, as the country looks to sustain an investment upswing spurred by major discoveries.
The awards marked Exxon Mobil’s entry into gas exploration in Egypt, while Shell was handed the most concessions, three for oil and two for gas, at an annual petroleum show that Egypt has used to promote itself as a hub for gas production and trading in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Egypt expects investments of at least $750 million to $800 million in the first stage of exploration in the total of 12 concessions announced, Petroleum Minister Tarek El Molla said.
The Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Corporation’s (EGAS) bid round, which was the largest in its history, included border areas in the Mediterranean Sea as well as land areas in the Nile Delta.
Five gas exploration concessions were awarded – in which 20 wells will be drilled – to Shell, Exxon, Petronas, BP, DEA and Eni, the head of Egypt’s state gas board said.
Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation’s (EGPC) tender meanwhile included areas in the Western Desert, the Nile Valley, the Gulf of Suez and the Eastern Desert.
Neptune Energy, Merlon, Shell, Eni and state-controlled EGPC were awarded seven oil exploration concessions in total in which 39 wells will be drilled, Egypt’s petroleum ministry said.