Egypt signed on Tuesday two deals with major US oil company ExxonMobil to explore for oil and gas in the Mediterranean region with a minimum investment of $332 million, the petroleum ministry said on Tuesday.
The first agreement is for exploring the North East Amiriya offshore block, with a minimum investment of $220 million for the drilling of four wells, the ministry said in a statement sent to Ahram Online.
The second deal will involve the drilling of three wells in the North Maracea block, with a minimum investment of $112 million.
The ministry said the agreements with Exxon Mobil bring the total number of deals with investors to 82 since 2014, with a total minimum investment of around $16 billion for the drilling of 340 wells.
Egypt's Petroleum Minister Tarek El-Molla, who witnessed the signing, said the return of the US company to the exploration business in Egypt after a long hiatus work marks a major success for the petroleum sector. ExxonMobil has for decades been a major distributer of fuel and car oils in Egypt.
The 2015 discovery by Italy's Eni of the massive Mediterranean gas field Zohr, which holds an estimated reserve of 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, has significantly boosted Egypt's energy sector and its production of natural gas.
Egypt announced in 2018 that it had achieved self-sufficiency in natural gas after the increase in production at recently discovered gas fields.