ExxonMobil announced that it acquired more than 1.7 million acres for exploration offshore operations in Egypt and the operations are scheduled to begin in 2020, according to a statement by the company.

The company added that this acquisition includes acreage in the 1.2 million North Marakia offshore block, located approximately five miles offshore Egypt’s Northern Coast in the Herodotus basin. The remaining 543,000 acres are in the North East El Amriya Offshore block in the Nile Delta.

Operations are scheduled to begin in 2020 and will include the acquisition of seismic data. ExxonMobil holds 100% interest for operations in both blocks.

The senior vice president of exploration and new ventures at ExxonMobil, Mike Cousins commented on that regard saying that these awards strengthen the company’s exploration portfolio in the Eastern Mediterranean. “We look forward to working with the government and deploying our proven expertise and advanced technology,” he added.