The Egyptian Minister of Petroleum Eng. Sameh Fahmy announced that Egypt is expected to have 520 exploratory and development wells for oil and 36 for natural gas to be drilled in 2010.

Fahmy added that the oil wells would cost $2 billion, while the gas wells, to be drilled in the Nile Delta and offshore in the Mediterranean, would cost more than $1 billion.

According to earlier reports by Al Ahram Newspaper, the Ministry’s Spokesman Hamdy Abdel Aziz confirmed that the drilling would be conducted in the concession areas awarded by the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC).

Egypt’s proven natural gas reserves rose 1.1 trillion cubic feet to about 77.2 trillion cubic feet in the year to June 30, while crude oil and condensates reserves rose 220 million barrels to 4.4 billion barrels, announced the Ministry last July.

It’s worth mentioning that Egypt, considered as a significant natural gas exporter, decided not to sign any new gas export contracts until 2010 in order to meet rising local demand.