Egypt signs $332 million Mediterranean gas exploration deals

Oil Tanker in Mediterranean Sea./Getty Images
Oil Tanker in Mediterranean Sea./Getty Images

Egyptian Ministry of Petroleum announced on Tuesday the signing of two new agreements to explore for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean, with a minimum investment of 332 million U.S. dollars.

Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Tariq Al-Mulla signed the two agreements with Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) and the U.S. ExxonMobil oil company, the ministry said in a statement.

Under the first agreement, four wells will be drilled in the Northeastern Amiriya marine region in the Mediterranean, with a minimum investment of 220 million dollars and a signature grant of 10 million dollars, according to the statement.

Three wells will be drilled in the northern Maracea marine region in the Mediterranean under the second deal, with a minimum investment of 112 million dollars, and a signature grant of 7 million dollars.

These two agreements bring the number of petroleum deals Egypt has signed with investors since July 2014 to 82, with a minimum investment of about 16 billion dollars.

Egypt aims to become a regional hub for the trade of oil and liquefied natural gas after major discoveries were made in recent years, including the Zohr gas field in the Mediterranean which holds an estimated 30 trillion cubic feet of gas.