Egypt Extends Gas Bidding; TransGlobe Awarded Oil Blocks

Canadian independent TransGlobe was the biggest winner from Egyptian state firm EGPC’s 2011-12 bid round. But the deadline for more recent gas-focused bidding has been put back three months amid scant interest.

The round organised by state gas firm EGAS has been postponed by three months from 14 November to 13 February. This adds to mounting evidence that Egypt’s investment climate has considerably soured over the months following the closure of the Egyptian General Petroleum Company (EGPC) bid round at the end of March. Closure of this round was itself delayed from January in an attempt to drum up more interest.

Interest in the Egyptian upstream has been hit by delays in payments, permit approvals and license awards – including for blocks provisionally awarded in previous 2009 and 2010 bid rounds (MEES, 12 October).

EGAS opened bidding for 13 potentially gas-prone offshore Mediterranean and two onshore Nile Delta blocks on 4 June (MEES, 4 June). (CONTINUED - 946 WORDS)