The Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) has granted SDX Energy and PICO Petroleum preliminary approval to extend the drilling period in South Ramadan Concession located in the Gulf of Suez and to spend the agreed upon $23m investments, reported Al Mal News.

SDX Energy’s Country Director, Ahmed Moaaz, stated that the company, together with its’ partners in the project, PICO Petroleum and the General Petroleum Company (GPC), had requested to extend the drilling period until July 2018, because the elapsed duration since the formations of the joint-venture was not enough to complete drilling activities. Although the official approval was not granted, Moaaz stated that EGPC gave primarily approval to SDX. He added that the company will accept any new timeframe assigned by EGPC, even if it extends the drilling period until July 2017 only.

According to the agreement signed in 2013, the first phase of the project was scheduled to finalized by October 2016. However, the establishment of joint venture was lagged until July 2015, which in turn affected the progress of the  project. It is noted that GPC owns a 50% stake in the South Ramadan Concession, while SDX owns 12.5%, and PICO 37.5% stake.