Egypt is planning to invest $1.8bn (E£55.62bn) to drill new gas wells as part of offshore exploration in the Mediterranean Sea and the Nile Delta, reported United Arab Emirates state news agency WAM, citing the country’s Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Tarek El Molla.

The offshore exploration programme involves several international companies including Chevron, Eni, ExxonMobil, Shell and bp.

The programme aims to drill 35 exploratory gas wells from now until July 2025.

For the 2023/2024 fiscal year, the programme will involve drilling 21 wells, while a further 14 well are planned for the 2024/2025 fiscal year.

Speaking to WAM on the sidelines of an Opec International seminar in Vienna, Austria, El Molla said that the country plans to boost its gas production capacity by developing several exploration fields in the Mediterranean Sea, Nile Delta and Western Desert.

Molla said the Egyptian petroleum sector and its international partners have discovered 284 new fields over the past five years.

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By GlobalData

These new fields, which include 217 oil wells and 67 gas wells, have added around 1.32 billion barrels of oil equivalent to the country’s reserves.

Molla noted: “The Egyptian Government has decided to speed up its transition to clean energy in the electricity sector, so that renewable energy capacity should contribute 42% of power capacity by 2035.”

Earlier this year, Eni and its partners made a new gas discovery in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, offshore Egypt, following the drilling of the Nargis-1 exploration well.

The well is located in the Nargis Offshore Area Concession, which covers an area of approximately 445,000 acres.