By Islam Serour
The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation(EGPC) announced a new bid round for 20 blocks in the areas of the Eastern and Western Deserts exploration. Total investments according Hani Dahy, Chairman of the EGPC, is estimated to amount to $8.5 billion in the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
Adel Saeed, the EGPC’s Vice Chairman for Agreements, told the Daily News Egypt that 20 blocks in the Eastern and Western Deserts shall be offered for bidding by the end of this year, as soon as related security measures and other procedures are finalised.
The new bid round is viewed by the petroleum sector officials as strong indicator of foreign companies’ confidence in the Egyptian Petroleum sector. Minister of Petroleum, Ossama Kamal, stressed that foreign companies are committed to increase their direct investment in the Egypt, and expanding their excavation and development activities.
“We have sealed the previous bid rounds, which offered 15 blocks in the Western and Eastern Deserts, the Gulf of Suez Area and the Sinai for the exploration of oil and gas,” Saeed commented. He added that the EGPC is “currently assessing the winning companies in preparation for starting the actual exploration operations.”
The application of new technologies such as 3D seismic surveying, and the availability of investments facilitate the expansion in oil discoveries, such as that in AlamAl-Shaweeshconcession in the Western Desert by Royal Dutch Shell. Saeed added, “These new discoveriesalong with the eagerness of foreign investors encourage veteran petroleumoperators to expand their operations in Egypt.”