Egypt has reached an initial agreement with five international companies on oil and gas exploration and production in the deep waters off its western Mediterranean coasts, the petroleum minister told Sky News Arabia TV on Saturday.
The five companies are Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron , BP, Total and Exxon Mobil, said Tarek El Molla, adding drilling and exploration would start in seven western Mediterranean concessions in early 2021.
He said the exploration and production agreements spanned seven concessions and had been signed with major companies because of the scale of investment needed.
Exploratory drilling in the area would start in early 2021, he said.
The discovery of the giant Mediterranean field of Zohr off the eastern coasts of Egypt by Italy’s Eni in 2015 sparked renewed interest and investment in Egypt’s energy industry.
The country is trying to position itself as an energy hub in the eastern Mediterranean, importing gas from Israel and exporting to Jordan and potentially to Europe and Asia.
Egypt said in January it had signed two deals with Exxon Mobil for oil and gas exploration in the Mediterranean.