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Egypt signs oil and gas exploration deals: Petroleum ministry

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 Nov 2015
Egypt
Egypt's petroleum minister Tarek El Molla (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt has signed five oil and gas exploration deals worth around $2.2 billion with Italian energy giant Eni, the ministry of petroleum announced on Thursday.

Suffering from an energy crunch in recent years on the back of a rising consumption gap, Egypt has become a net energy importer.

In March, during an economic development conference held in Sharm El-Sheikh, the government signed preliminary energy deals worth around $40 billion in an attempt to boost production and lift growth.

The deals signed on Thursday are the outcome of the March conference, read the ministry's statement.

The biggest deal was for exploration in the Gulf of Suez and Nile Delta with an investment of $1.5 billion; the second was in northern Port Said in the Mediterranean with a minimum investment of $500 million.

In collaboration with Eni, French oil company Engie will be exploring in the Ashrafi zone in the Gulf of Suez with an investment of $40 million.

British Petroleum will join Eni for exploration in the Balteem area of the Mediterranean with an investment of $80 million.

US-based oil company Apache also signed a $30 million deal on Thursday with Egypt's General Petroleum Corporation to explore Oum Baraka area in the Western Desert.

Eni discovered Egypt's biggest gas field in August, in the Zohr block, with reserves of up to 30 trillion cubic feet.

Egypt and Eni had in July signed an update to the head of agreement reached in March, following the discovery of gas reserves of up to 15 billion cubic metres in Egypt's Nile Delta region.
 

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