Egypt awards eight oil and exploration blocks to BP, Eni, and others after first digital oil auction

Menna Alaa El-Din , Monday 3 Jan 2022

Egypt awarded eight oil exploration blocks to oil giants Eni, British Petroleum, Apex International, Energy Egypt, United Energy, Enap Sipetrol, and Ina, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources announced on Monday.

Eni oil refinery in Egypt. Photo courtesy of state information website.

The ministry said the companies will invest a minimum of $250 million and drill 33 wells in blocks within the Mediterranean, Western Desert, and the Gulf of Suez. 

The announcement followed Egypt’s first global oil and gas exploration auction that was held by the state-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company for 24 blocks through a new digital portal aiming to lure gas and oil exploration companies.

The portal — dubbed ‘Egypt Upstream Gateway’ — was established in February 2020 after a memorandum of understanding was signed between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and oilfield services firm Schlumberger on the portal during EGYPS 2020.

The new website features a database for information on all stages of drilling, exploration, and production of oil and gas projects with the aim of enhancing project follow-up and achieving effective decision-making. 

The deal is part of Egypt’s oil and gas sector digital transformation.

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.

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