Egypt’s petroleum ministry is eyeing larger foreign investments in drilling and exploration projects to amount to $8.5b by the end of fiscal year 2015-16, up by $1b, Amwal Al Ghad reported.

The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Ganoub El-Wadi Petroleum Holding Company (Ganope) plan to issue a number of tenders during the coming few months to boost investments.

Source at the ministry told the press that oil agreements that were signed with foreign partners during the last months will help to achieve this target, Zawya wrote.

Since 2013, the oil ministry has signed 64 petroleum agreements with a large number of international firms since 2013 until now with projected investments estimated at $14.5b. In 2015, according to the quoted source, the total volume of foreign companies’ investments and capitals in Egypt reached around $7.5b.

Further, the discovery of Zohr giant gas field encouraged foreign investors to inject new investments and capitals during 2016 into the Egyptian market to make significant discoveries, the source added.