Egypt will launch international exploration and production (E&P) tenders for Upper Egypt and the Red Sea. The two geophysical data collection projects will be finalized by the time E&P tenders are issued, Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, stated. The minister added that Egypt will seal 12 petroleum agreements worth $433 million minimum investments during 2018, in addition to further deals that will result from the agreements, Egypt Oil & Gas reports.

The ministry of petroleum has walked a great mile on its road to turn Egypt into an oil and gas regional trading hub, which comes in line with the plan to modernize the country’s oil and gas sector, El Molla pointed out.

The ministry’s plan aim to make the best use of Egypt’s geographical location and infrastructure, which will allow oil and gas to be transported without any technical or regulatory barriers. The country will further start to work with the new gas regulatory law in 2018, the minister disclosed.

El Molla highlighted that Egypt’s regional hub vision will boost the economy and help develop the petroleum industry, as it will encourage larger influx of investments from the private sector.

Additionally, Egypt will start the actual operations of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) platform and its Arab Petroleum Pipelines Company (SUMED) facilities in Ain Sokhna Port in 2018, as a first phase preparing for receiving a floating storage regasification unit (FSRU), petroleum products, and fuel tankers.