The Egyptian petroleum ministry has signed an exploration contract with locally owned Tharwa Petroleum Company to look for oil and natural gas in the western desert.
The new agreement, signed on Tuesday, stipulates a minimum investment amount of $15 million in Abu Sinan, an area near the border with Libya, according to a statement on the ministry's website.
The government has signed 36 similar deals since November 2013, with an investment amount of $2 billon, said petroleum minister Sherif Ismail in the statement. Ismail said 21 new exploration deals are now being prepared with an additional $10 billion in expected investment.
Thawra Petroleum co. was established in 2004 and is owned by several government or government-related entities including the petroleum ministry itself.