Earlier this month, the state-owned Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) announced that the results of a bid round held last year have been signed off by the government by presidential decree (MEES, 4 October). In a country beset by bureaucratic red tape and political turmoil, taking just under a year to get the ball rolling is not bad going, so much so that some of the successful bidders seemed slightly taken aback when informed of the decision.

The EGPC is taking things further and is busy preparing for the next bid round, which officials said could be launched within two months after the finalization of the last round. (CONTINUED - 1653 WORDS)