Exxon wins exploration licence off Egypt's northern coast

Exxon wins exploration licence off Egypt's northern coast
Exxon wins exploration licence off Egypt's northern coast

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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - US major Exxon Mobil was awarded an offshore concession by Egypt, its second exploration licence in the North African state this year.

The company acquired more than 1.7 million acres (687,965 hectares) offshore Egypt, including 1.2 million in the North Marakia offshore block, located five miles offshore in the Herodotus basin in the country's northern coast. The remaining 543,000 acre block was awarded in the North East El Amriya offshore block along the Nile Delta.

The company has taken a 100 per cent interest in the operation of the blocks with the acquisition of seismic data expected to commence in 2020.

"ExxonMobil has been a partner in Egypt’s growth for more than 115 years, and these awards reaffirm our commitment to pursuing high-quality opportunities in the country,” said ExxonMobil Egypt chairman and managing director Hesham Elamroussy.

Earlier this year, Egypt awarded Shell, ExxonMobil as well as Eni, oil and gas blocks in one of its biggest-ever licensing rounds as it looked to leverage recent large discoveries off the Mediterranean to become an energy exporter.

On Sunday, the North African state awarded fellow US oil major Chevron, Anglo-Dutch Shell and Abu Dhabi's Mubadala rights to explore for oil and gas in the Red Sea, as it expanded its search for new hydrocarbon reserves.

One block each was awarded to Chevron and Shell and the third was jointly awarded to the Anglo-Dutch firm and Mubadala. The concessions cover a total acreage of 10,000 square kilometres, with a minimum investment of $326 million (Dh1.12 billion), according to the country's petroleum ministry.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous state, has been offering exploration rights following the discovery of the massive Zohr field by Italian energy major Eni in 2016. The find sparked a search for more hydrocarbon resources along the Nile Delta, the western desert, Gulf of Suez and now the Red Sea as the country looks to become a net exporter of gas, particularly to markets in Europe.

Updated: December 30, 2019 08:58 PM

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