Egypt’s oil ministry announced 29 December that it had awarded three of the 10 blocks on offer in a bidding round for mostly virgin territory in the Red Sea (see map).

Minimum investment commitments are $326mn across the three blocks totaling 10,000km², rising to “several $bn” should discoveries be made, the ministry says. Whilst the number of blocks awarded may be underwhelming, of key significance is US major Chevron’s entry into the Egypt upstream. The US major is taking Block 1, the northernmost of those on offer and close to where Saudi Arabia made the Shuar discovery 25km offshore Duba in 2012. Riyadh plans to intensify drilling in the region over the next two years (MEES, 8 March 2019). (CONTINUED - 954 WORDS)