Egypt Launches Red Sea Bidding

Cairo has launched a bid round for ten little-explored Red Sea blocks. The launch comes just days after Saudi Arabia announced plans to step up Red Sea exploration.

Ganope, the arm of Egypt state firm EGPC focused on attracting exploration to the south of the country, on 9 March launched a bid round for 10 Red Sea blocks, each just over 3,000km². Water depths are 50 to 1,500ms with bidding closing 1 August.

Along with virgin acreage in the Mediterranean north of the Western Desert, this new bid round forms part of Egypt’s oil ministry’s push to attract investors in unexplored or underexplored regions of the country.

While gas output rose to a seven-year high 5.89bn cfd last year and is on course to hit a record this year with Eni’s 21.5tcf Zohr field hitting plateau 3.2bn cfd in Q4, oil output is set to fall. The Western Desert, source of 56% of Egypt’s 640,000 b/d 2018 output, will see drilling slashed this year ( MEES, 8 March ). (CONTINUED - 870 WORDS)