Egypt nears oil round results, seven months on

Reuters, Tuesday 25 Sep 2012

A total of 25 international firms have submitted bids to exploit energy fields in the Egyptian desert; results are due 'soon'

The results of an oil and gas bid round launched in September 2011 by state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) will be announced soon, almost seven months since the closing date, an EGPC official said on Tuesday.

The closing date for bids had been pushed from 30 January to 29 March to allow more international companies to participate. But winners of the concessions have yet to be announced.
Some 25 bids have been received from international oil firms for 15 concessions, including firms that have not operated in Egypt before, an EGPC official told Reuters by telephone.
"The delay has been mostly due to the time it takes to evaluate the bids and also because we have to have all the necessary approvals from various bodies of government for newcomers," said the official, who declined to be named.
He did not give a timeline, but the Al Mal daily on Tuesday cited senior oil ministry official Mahmoud Nazeem saying the results would be announced in two weeks.
The EGPC official said: "We can't say exactly two weeks because its not up to us, after we take a decision we wait on several approvals from several agencies, but I can say the result will be soon."
Nazeem could not immediately be reached for comment.
EGPC was offering 15 blocks located in the Gulf of Suez, the Western Desert, the Eastern Desert and Sinai sedimentary basins. There were three offshore blocks in the Gulf of Suez on offer and 12 onshore.
Another state-owned firm, the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS), launched a bid round in June for 15 exploration blocks in the Mediterranean and Nile Delta basins. Only two of those concessions are onshore, while the rest are all offshore.
The closing date for that tender is 14 November.
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