Ganope Chairman, Abou Bakr Ibrahim, presented during the EPEX Conference for Upper Egypt & Red Sea Resources various petroleum activities in Upper Egypt, covering a wide range, from exploration, down to refining and distribution, reported Egypt Oil & Gas.

Abou Bakr explained that five new agreements resulted from the recent international bid round launched by his company that will be signed immediately after the completion of the remaining procedures. The estimated investments are above $100m, with $7.3 m as a signature bonus.

He added that there was also an ambitious plan to connect 193,000 housing units in the Upper Egyptian governorates, during the current fiscal year.

As for unconventional sources of energy, he said that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed with UAE’s Inmaa Al-Ain to conduct economic studies for the establishment of a series of development projects in the Gulf of Suez for about $5.3b. These include an industrial zone and a port to import clean coal. He also confirmed the formation of a joint committee with the Mineral Resources Authority and the Ministry of Electricity to discuss the exploitation of geothermal energy to generate electricity and also study the possibility of using tar sands to generate electricity.

For his part Ahmed Abdel Fattah, Deputy Head of Exploration at EGPC, said that the conference dealt with 20 studies in exploration and production for oil and gas and mineral resources, with geophysical information on areas in the Red Sea and Western Desert regions. The studies indicated the likelihood of petroleum basins in these included areas, with other studies on exploiting tar sands and geothermal power in the South for the production of electricity.