Ganoub El Wadi Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) has extended the deadline for receiving offers for its international bid for oil and gas exploration in the Red Sea to mid-September, instead of August, to allow more companies to submit their offers, Al-Shorouk reported.

Ganope announced the international bid round back in March, for 10 offshore exploration blocks, as the first in the Egyptian Red Sea, in line with the Ministry of Petroleum’s strategy to increase exploration and production activities to fully-optimize the economic utilization of resources to contribute to the sustainable development of Egypt.

Under the production sharing agreement (PSA), bid winners will have the right to sell their share of production locally or export it globally after the Ministry of Petroleum’s approval.

The Minister of Petroleum, Tarek El-Molla previously expected increased exploration activities in the Red Sea after the maritime border demarcation with Saudi Arabia.

Last year, GANOPE inked two contracts with Schlumberger and TGS to conduct seismic surveys and gather data in the Red Sea and Upper Egypt, with investments of more than $750 million.