Egypt launched international bids for oil exploration in 11 blocks in the Western Desert and the Gulf of Suez, the petroleum ministry announced in a press release on Thursday.
Five blocks will be offered in the Gulf of Suez, North-East of October, North-East of Al Hamd, North-East of Ramadan, East Badri, North maritime Esran, while the remaining six blocks will be offered in the Western Desert: North-West Razak, South-East Maleeha, North Um Baraka, South Allam Al Shaweesh, West Badr Eddin and South-East Siwa.
Arrears owed by the government to oil firms stood at $3.2 billion at the end of March, Reuters reported earlier in April.
Egypt became a net importer of natural gas in the past few years, having previously been a net exporter, on the back of rising consumption and falling production.
The Arab country is seeking to attract investments in the energy sector to revive an economy battered by years of political upheavals following the 2011 uprising.
(Source: Ahram Online)