The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) announced launching a new international bid round for 2016 for oil research and exploration, according to a press release received by Egypt Oil&Gas.

The bid includes 11 blocks in the sedimentary basins, of which 5 blocks are in the Gulf of Suez – North-East of October, North-East of Al Hamd, North-East of Ramadan, East Badri, North Maritime Esran, and the remaining 6 blocks are to 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.

Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, said that launching the bid comes within the framework of the government’s strategy to insure energy supply. International bid rounds and signing new oil agreements are a cornerstone of the strategy and the main motive for operations in the oil sector aiming at increasing production, intensifying research and exploration, and encouraging foreign investments.

The minister also noted that there are more bid rounds planned to be announced later in the year. The bids include new areas affiliated with the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company and Ganoub El Wady Holding Petroleum Company (Ganope), both onshore and offshore.

El Molla added that Egypt has rich potential to attract foreign investors as the government’s exerted efforts to create a supportive investment climate, to develop the infrastructure, and to establish developmental projects focusing on bettering the living conditions and raising growth rates.