Cairo moved closer this week to officially announcing the award of at least six offshore blocks located in the country’s unexplored Western Mediterranean region after parliament gave the oil ministry the green light to sign contracts.

State firm Egas has yet to confirm the award, although newcomer US firm Noble Energy flagged up its two blocks in a 9 July operations update, saying contract signing is expected later this summer. In a new move Egypt state firm Tharwa will take 10% of each block, suggesting a move away from Egypt’s previous JV model. (CONTINUED - 882 WORDS)