A press release to Egypt Oil&Gas stated that Egyptian Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, Tarek El Molla, signed two new oil and gas exploration agreements between the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Sahary Petroleum Company to search for petroleum and natural gas in the Western Desert and Gulf of Suez.

The first agreement stated that EGPC and Sahary Petroleum will work in West Qarun Concession located in the Western Desert and drill 11 wells with total investments $30m and $5m signing bonus.

Meanwhile, the second agreement states that EGPC, represented by Offshore Shukeir Oil Company (OSOCO), will process projects in Shukeir Concession located in the Gulf of Suez.

The agreements were also signed by EGPC’s CEO, Tarek El Hadidy, and Sahary’s General Director, Ali Mira, in the attendance of First Undersecretaries of the Ministry of Petroleum, Mohamd Taher and Mohamed Mounes, and the Ministry’s First Undersecretary of Agreements and Exploration, Ashraf Farag.

El Molla pointed out that the oil and gas sector is keen to sign petroleum agreements to increase exploration and boost production and reserves. He added that by signing these new agreements Egypt had entered 76 exploration agreements with international oil companies (IOCs) since 2013 with investments of at least $15.3b and signing bonuses around $1b to drill 319 wells.