(MENAFN - Daily News Egypt) Minister of Petroleum Tarek El-Molla directed the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC), South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope), and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) to focus on offering areas for research and drilling for oil in the coming tenders, as to increase production rates and curb reliance on imports.
A source in the sector told Daily News Egypt that EGPC has been tasked with collecting data and information about the untapped concession areas in the Western Desert and the Gulf of Suez.
He explained that Egypt needs to increase crude oil output, having been fixed for several years at an average of 650,000-700,000 barrels, against a growing demand.
The source added that the discoveries of gas achieved by Egypt recently will achieve self-sufficiency by next year, noting that Egypt will become a gas-exporting country by 2020.
EGPC head, Abed Ezz El Regal, said in press statements that the corporation is preparing to offer new tenders for crude oil exploration in its concession areas before the end of this year.
He pointed out that EGPC is completing some technical procedures and obtaining the approvals of various parties to put the areas in the auction, stressing that the introduction of new areas in international bidding is a step in the program to increase and develop reserves and domestic production of crude oil.
EGPC and the Ministry of Petroleum have signed agreements with the American Apache, Apex International Energy, and the Anglo-Dutch Shell, after they won five concession areas in a previous tender put up by EGPC in the Western Desert. The cabinet and the parliament have both ratified the agreements.
This comes in addition to signing with Merlon International, LLC. after the approval of the House of Representatives to amend its agreement in Western Desert.
The Minister of Petroleum pointed out that the continuity in offering bids and signing agreements with international partners confirms the continuity of exploration operations to increase and develop the Egyptian reserves of crude oil and gas. The number of agreements reached about 83,000 over the past four years.