Cairo, Reuters—Egypt hopes to increase its own share of Mediterranean gas riches with an exploration tender, following major Israeli finds in the region.
State-owned Egyptian Natural Gas Holding Company (EGAS) plans to launch an international tender for deep water gas exploration next year, Mahfouz El-Bony, EGAS Vice Chairman for Agreements and Exploration, said.
“We are preparing the areas that will be tendered and the technical data to present to interested firms,” he said.
He added that EGAS was also studying the feasibility of shale gas exploration in the Western Desert with Shell and Apache Corp.
“There are some layers in the Western Desert that could be considered as a source for unconventional gas… We are working with Shell and Apache to study the potential of these resources,” he said.
Egypt is seeking to increase its production of oil and gas in order to meet rising energy demands.
Political turmoil since the 2011 uprising that toppled autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak has strained Egypt’s ability to cover costs of fuel imports, deepening a fuel shortage crisis and causing frequent power cuts.
Israel’s Delek Drilling said on Tuesday it found significant signs of a new natural gas in the Mediterranean near to huge reserves discovered in recent years.