Ganope, the Upper (southern) Egypt-focused arm of state firm EGPC will issue a new bid round by January 2016, according to its chief Abu Bakr Ibrahim, who was speaking at the EPEX conference for Upper Egypt and Red Sea resources this week. This follows seismic data acquisition over previously unsurveyed territory which included 310km² 3D seismic and additional 2D seismic over 30km² for Engie (formerly GDF Suez) in the firm’s Wadi Al-Dub and East Wadi Al-Dub regions in the Gulf of Suez. The UAE’s Dana Petroleum surveyed some 33,900km² of its 46,000km² West of Dakhla 1 and 2 concession areas, while Ukrainian firm Naftogaz shot seismic over 1,705km² of 3,100km² in its Wadi Mahareeth and South Wadi Mahareeth areas. Ganope is one of the more marginal arms of the EGPC with production currently at 31,000 b/d, or just 4% of Egypt’s total oil production. On 3 August the firm awarded five of the 10 blocks on offer in its 2014 bid round with total commitments for $100mn to drill 16 wells. Three of the awarded blocks were for well-worked acreage in the southern Gulf of Suez, while Houston-based IPR took both Western Desert blocks (MEES, 7 August).