Egypt will open new bids for exploration and production (E&P) activities in new areas of the Red Sea in 2018, after collecting data and granting international oil companies (IOCs) a chance to review and evaluate these data, stated Tarek El Molla, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

El Molla’s comments came as he checked the $750 million geophysical data compilation project implemented by the consortium of WesternGeco, Schlumberger, and TGS for Egypt’s territorial water in the Red Sea.

El Molla pointed out the importance of the data collection project in attracting international E&P companies to achieve new discoveries that contribute to increasing Egypt’s proven reserves and production. “This will provide the opportunity to obtain more clear data for deep geological structures, sedimentary basins and potential oil reservoirs in these areas to start E&P activities in the region,” he stated.

El Molla also said that the data collection will enable South Valley Egyptian Petroleum Company (Ganope) to launch international bids for E&P of oil in the Red Sea, which was not possible without the demarcation of the maritime border in the Red Sea with Saudi Arabia.