The result of state firm EGAS’ bidding round is better than most observers had dared to expect. It offers evidence that faith in the country’s upstream has turned the corner following Cairo’s efforts to clear some of the backlog in payments owed to IOCs operating in Egypt (MEES, 5 April).

EGAS received a total of 12 bids and has raked in $73.2mn in signature bonuses. The winners have pledged to drill a minimum of 18 wells over their initial exploration periods and to invest $1.2bn. EGAS Chairman Sharif Soussa said that the bid round award formed part of Egypt’s strategy of concentrating exploration efforts on little-explored frontier areas in order to secure Egypt’s production future. (CONTINUED - 1128 WORDS)