Egypt signs three offshore exploration deals worth US$220mn

offshore egypt QR9iudjz0 sxc optEgypt has signed three offshore oil and gas exploration and production deals worth a total of at least US$220mn with France’s Total, Britain’s BP, and Italian oil major ENI’s Egyptian subsidiary IEOC, according to the Oil Ministry

The deals include drilling for six wells and a signing bonus of US$9mn, the ministry said in a statement, and are the result of a tender called by Egyptian state gas board EGAS. They are all in exploration blocks in the Mediterranean Sea.

The first deal, with a consortium of BP and IEOC, is worth US$75mn for an exploration block in the North Ras El Esh Block; the second, with a consortium of all three companies, is in the North El Hammad Block and is worth US$80mn, and the third, with BP only, is in the North Tabia Block and worth US$65mn.

Egypt has gone from exporting energy to being a net importer as domestic output has failed to keep pace with rising demand, reports have revealed.

The government is seeking ways to help the country cope and oil minister Tarek El Molla said that Egypt wanted to import crude oil directly from Iraq and he hoped to finalise the deal by Q1 2017.

The oil sector in Egypt has signed 73 oil and gas exploration deals with international oil companies in the past three years worth at least US$15bn so far, Molla said in a recent statement, and signing bonuses of over US$1bn for the drilling of 306 wells.

An EGAS official also told Reuters the board had determined Egypt needed around 100 shipments of LNG worth US$2.2bn in 2017 and had already secured 60 shipments.

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