The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, has announced the opening of two international bid rounds for exploration and production (E&P) during 2018, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and the Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) will launch tenders for oil and natural gas E&P activities in 27 concessions.

The concessions cover most of the sedimentary basins across Egypt, El Molla pointed out. EGPC’s tender will be for E&P in 11 concessions, including five in the Western Desert, two in Nile Delta, three in the Gulf of Suez, and one in the Eastern Desert. Meanwhile, EGAS’s tender spans 13 concessions in the Mediterranean Sea and three concessions in the onshore Nile Delta region.

El Molla stated that forthcoming bids will result in an increase in the number of agreements for oil and natural gas exploration, which will have a positive impact on maximizing the E&P activities in the designated areas.

The minister said that he expected the tenders to bear fruit over the next few years. They will enable the increase of oil and natural gas production, help to secure energy for the domestic market and support the country in becoming energy self-sufficient.