Egypt will launch the first oil and gas exploration and production (E&P) bid round in the Red Sea before the end of 2018 upon seismic reflection data processing, said Minister of Petroleum Tarek El Molla, according to Al Ahram.

El Molla’ s announcement came during his meeting with the Egyptian-Canadian Business Council.

The minister revealed that the gas and petroleum needs of the residential, electricity and industrial sectors have been covered in 2018.

“The ministry’s strategic plan includes diversifying energy supplies, addressing debt arrears, reforming the subsidy system, addressing domestic debt, improving governance of the sector, conducting structural reforms, and encouraging private sector investment,” the minister explained.