Egyptian firm Maridive & Oil Services S.A.E., Egypt’s largest offshore oil services company, has plans to begin exploring for natural gas in Egyptian territorial waters, according to a company official who spoke with Daily News Egypt.

The news comes after the Zohr discovery pushed the government to halt several agreements with international firms. The Zohr discovery, the largest in the Mediterranean, is expected to raise interest in research and exploration in Egypt’s territorial waters.

The official also said that Maridive’s strategy is to maintain operating levels of offshore units at between 80% and 85%. In the meantime, it will review economic benefits of the existing  units built before 2000 in order to rid itself of the economically nonviable ones and thus rationalize its costs.

The official noted that in the coming months, Maridive will conclude implementation of the $151m Petrofac project has been developing with the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company. Further, the company has begun construction on a venture with India’s Oil and Natural Gas Corporation.

Net profits for the company fell by more than half in the first nine months of 2015 – $5.456 compared to $11.06m in the same period of 2014. The Q3 was especially difficult for the company, as profits amounted to only $131,000, compared to $5.06m year on year. The official attributed declining profits to increased expenditures to cover operational risk as well as greater income taxes paid.

The company is seeing an expansion in revenue from its offshore services sector, which generated $188.95m in revenues during the first nine months of 2015, compared to $123.7m during the same period last year.