Egypt began the go-live phase of its first digital portal for gas and oil exploration nationwide as it seeks to attract investors to its abundant resources, the petroleum ministry announced on Thursday.
Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla launched via videoconference the portal, dubbed ‘Egypt Upstream Gateway’, as the first digital platform that offers geological data for oil and gas exploration and production in the country.
El-Molla also announced the first global oil and gas exploration tender for 2021 by the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company through the new portal.
The tender will cover exploration and production in 24 blocks in the Gulf of the Suez, the Western Desert, and the Eastern and Western Mediterranean.
The portal was established 12 months after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and oilfield services firm Schlumberger on the portal during EGYPS 2020.
El-Molla said the portal was “an important step undertaken by Egypt towards a global level for oil and gas exploration”, adding that it aims to attract more investments through providing geological data and promoting investment opportunities in a facilitated and developed way.
The virtual event was attended by ten operating global firms in Egypt, including Italy’s Eni, US oil and gas producer Apache, and Germany’s Wintershall Dea.
Egypt has made a series of oil and gas discoveries in recent years, most notably the giant Zohr gas field off the Mediterranean.
The discovery, which holds an estimated reservoir of 30 trillion cubic feet of gas, has drawn the interest of investors to the country's energy sector.
It has also helped Egypt reach self-sufficiency in gas and pursue being a regional hub for gas exports.