QatarEnergy, a state-owned energy company, and US oil and gas giant ExxonMobil have signed a framework agreement to acquire two offshore exploration sites off Egypt’s coast.  

According to a statement published on Sunday, QatarEnergy will own a 40% stake in the Masry and Cairo concessions off the north coast of Egypt. ExxonMobil will keep a 60% working interest following the agreement’s closure, which is subject to approval by the Egyptian Government. 

Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi, Qatari Minister of State for Energy Affairs and the president and CEO of QatarEnergy, said in a statement: “I am pleased with our entry into the Cairo and Masry offshore exploration blocks as they expand QatarEnergy’s presence in the Arab Republic of Egypt and extend our ambitious exploration program in-country.” 

QatarEnergy said the concession agreements cover around 11,400km² in water depths of 2–3km. Egypt awarded the blocks to ExxonMobil in January 2023 and initially planned to own the blocks’ 100% working interest.  

Al-Kaabi added: “We look forward to working with our valued long-term strategic partner ExxonMobil, as well as with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and the Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, in this promising and prospective region.” 

QatarEnergy has expanded its exploration activities in Egypt following a new deal, bringing the total number of offshore exploration areas to six. These include areas three and four in the Red Sea, the North Marakia area in the Mediterranean, and the Cairo and Masry offshore areas, the Middle East Monitor reported, highlighting the significant growth of QatarEnergy’s regional operations.  

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ExxonMobil was awarded the North Marakia offshore block in 2020. The block spans 4,847km² and is located in water depths ranging from 1–2km. In 2022, QatarEnergy purchased a 40% stake in the block, while ExxonMobil owns the remaining 60%.