Egypt has launched a bid round inviting potential companies for oil and natural gas exploration and exploitation in 24 blocks.

Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek al-Molla was cited by Xinhua news agency as saying in a statement: “The blocks are located in the Gulf of Suez, the Western Desert, and the Eastern and Western Mediterranean,”

The bidding round is slated to close on 1 August.

Reuters quoted an oil ministry source as saying that the bid round includes nine blocks in the Mediterranean Sea, 12 in the Western Desert, and three in the Gulf of Suez.

A ministry statement said that Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Egyptian Natural Gas (EGAS) are offering tenders for the blocks.

Following major discoveries made in recent years, Egypt has set an aim to become a regional hub for the oil and liquefied natural gas trade.

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By GlobalData

The country’s gas production has boomed since the discovery of the giant Zohr field in the Mediterranean coast by Italian firm Eni in 2015 following drilling the Zohr 1X NFW well at a water depth of approximately 1,450m.

Located within the 3,752km² Shorouk Block, the $12bn Zohr Gas field is estimated to hold 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.

Last month, Mubadala Petroleum signed the concession agreement with the Egyptian Government for oil and gas exploration in 3,084km² Block 4 in the Red Sea.

The block was awarded by the Egyptian Government in the 2019 Red Sea Licensing Round and is owned by South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope).