QatarEnergy has agreed to purchase a 40% stake in an exploration block, offshore Egypt, from American energy major ExxonMobil.

According to the deal, QatarEnergy will purchase the interest in the contractor’s share in the North Marakia offshore block.

The block is located approximately five miles offshore Egypt’s northern coast, in the Herodotus basin.

An affiliate of ExxonMobil will operate the block with a 60% interest.

QatarEnergy president and CEO, and Qatar Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida Al-Kaabi said: “This agreement represents another important step in establishing QatarEnergy’s presence in the Arab Republic of Egypt’s upstream oil and gas sector, and in implementing our international growth strategy.

“We are pleased to sign this agreement, and to work with our valued long-term partner ExxonMobil to explore exciting prospects in this promising region.”

The agreement is subject to customary approvals by the Egyptian Government.

Awarded to ExxonMobil in 2020, the North Marakia offshore block covers an area of 4,847km². It is in water depths of 1,000m to 2,000m.

QatarEnergy has also awarded a contract to Fugro to de-risk its major redevelopment project of the Bul Hanine and Maydan Mahzam fields, offshore Qatar.

The contract will see the delivery of multi-year seabed geo-data acquisition, and geo-consultancy services to QatarEnergy, as part of the redevelopment of the two offshore fields.

Fugro will use three vessels to undertake a range of in-depth geotechnical and geophysical assessments, as well as establish environmental baseline data.

Located approximately 120km to the east of the Qatari coastline, the redevelopment of the existing Bul Hanine offshore oil field is expected to extend the field’s operational life by doubling its current oil production rate.​

Opened in 1962, the Maydan Mahzam conventional oil field is in shallow waters, in Qatar.

An expansion project is associated with the Maydan Mahzam, namely Maydan Mahzam Redevelopment. This project is currently in the feasibility stage.

Last year, QatarEnergy announced that it had signed an exploration and production sharing contract (EPSC) for offshore block five, in Cyprus, with ExxonMobil.