Egypt on Thursday announced an international bid round for the exploration of oil and natural gas in 24 blocks.
“The blocks are located in the Gulf of Suez, the Western Desert, and the Eastern and Western Mediterranean,” Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek al-Molla said in a statement.
Offered by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation and Egyptian Natural Gas, the tender, which will conclude on Aug. 1, covers 12 blocks in the Western Desert, nine in the Mediterranean Sea, and three in the Gulf of Suez, according to the statement.
In the statement, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources also announced the launch of Egypt Upstream Gateway, the first national digital platform to provide geological data for oil industry exploration and production activities with international criteria.
Egypt aims to become a regional hub for the trade of oil and liquefied natural gas after major discoveries were made in recent years, including the Zohr gas field in the Mediterranean which holds an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.
Since July 2014, Egypt has signed more than 82 gas and oil exploration deals with investors, with a minimum investment of about 16 billion U.S. dollars.
The oil and gas sector contributed 27 percent of Egypt’s GDP in 2018-2019 with a value of 1.4 trillion Egyptian pounds (89 billion dollars), according to official statistics.