Egypt Offering 12 Exploration Blocks in 2008 First-Round Bid

Twelve oil and gas exploration blocks will be offered by Egypt's state-owned Ganoub El Wadi Holding Petroleum Company in the International 2008 Bid Round I.

The bid winners will be eligible to "explore/exploit" oil and gas via the production sharing agreement Egypt model 2008, according to a statement issued on the company's web site.

The 12 exploration blocks include offshore and onshore areas located in the Red Sea, the South Gulf of Suez, and the sections in the eastern and western deserts of the country.

Companies wanting to participate in the bid can find out more about the hydrocarbon potential of the exploration blocks and purchase information packages starting April 1. All such information can be picked up at the company's web site. The closing date for bidding will be July 15, 2008 before 12:00 noon.

A description of each of the blocks on the company web site illustrates that "hydrocarbon potential is supported by positive basic prospective elements based on magnetic [and] 2D seismic data." Block 7's hydrocarbon potential is also supported by 3D seismic data.

In 2006, Ganoub El Wadi offered eight exploration blocks covering a total area of 157,588 square kilometers.

Some estimates put Egypt's gas reserves at more than 200 trillion cubic feet, whereas Egypt's oil production has declined in recent years.

However, Trade Arabia reported that Egyptian Oil Minister Sameh Fahmy expects an increase in the country's 2008 oil output by extracting 100,000 bbl/d to 800,000 bbl/d more thro ugh developments in the Gulf of Suez and the western desert.

Recent discoveries in those areas offer promising increases in the country's output.

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