Egypt plans int'l oil, gas, gold exploration bids

Ahram Online , Tuesday 9 Jan 2024

Egypt is set to initiate new international bids for the exploration of oil, natural gas, and gold in 2024, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El-Molla said on Tuesday.


“The gold exploration bid is expected to be launched in the latter half of this year,” El-Molla revealed during an interview with Asharq Business on the sidelines of the International Mining conference in Saudi Arabia.

Egypt extended the closing date of an international bid, originally launched in May, for gold exploration in five areas of the Eastern Desert, which was managed by the Shalateen Mineral Resources Company, to January instead of December.

Egypt has a rich history of gold mining, with around 270 gold sites distributed across the country, including 120 sites and mines that were active in ancient times. Among these, the Sukari mine in the Eastern Desert is the largest.

The country's gold production currently amounts to around 15.8 tons per year, with a portion coming from the Sukari mine, as reported by the World Gold Council.

Natural gas exploration

El-Molla said that the upcoming bid for oil and gas exploration will encompass both land and sea areas in the Gulf of Suez, the Eastern Desert, and the Western Desert.

In 2023, Egypt produced 5.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day, the minister added, emphasizing that the production level in 2024 will depend on the volume of new research, exploration, and drilling operations.

“Egypt has ongoing drilling and gas exploration projects in the Mediterranean Sea to bolster its production capacity,” he noted.

Egypt's 2023 natural gas production was the lowest since 2021, when production reached 7.2 billion cubic feet per day, followed by an average of 6.2 billion cubic feet in 2022.

Underlining the government's efforts to boost gas exploration, Egypt recently announced a plan to invest $1.9 billion in drilling and exploring 45 natural gas wells in the Mediterranean and the Nile Delta by mid-2025.

Moreover, global energy giant British Petroleum has unveiled plans to invest $3.5 billion in the exploration and development of natural gas resources in Egypt over the next three years.

Short link: