EGYPTIAN GAS HOLDING COMPANY (Egyptian Gas Holding Company EGAS) has awarded six oil prospecting blocks to as many operators in its third bid round in five years. Austrian company OMV got the 9,140 sq km Obaiyed Offshore exploration block, located in the Mediterranean waters. The main part of Obaiyed offshore lies in deep waters, off the city of Matruh. German independent RWE Dea was awarded 100% working interest in Tanta, a new onshore concession located partly in the prolific Nile Delta area. The 3,300 km2 block adjoins RWE Dea’s Disouq concession, which lies to the north, where the company only recently tested oil successfully in a wildcat Tayifah 1. Algeria’s state oil company Sonatrach was assigned the El Dabaa Offshore block (see story below on this page). Meanwhile, two exploration blocks went to India’s Gujarat State Petroleum Corp. (GSPCL). North Hapy block covers 4,180 sq km in the offshore Nile Delta, and will be mainly to explore for gas. The area remains so far totally undrilled. South Diyur covers 37,678 sq km in the Western Desert, southern Egypt. This is considered a medium risk, high reward asset and has a possibility of natural gas and crude oil. Available data on the lease includes 1,165 km of 2D seismic profiles as well as two wells.
OMV plans to conduct a 3D seismic program in the block in Obaiyed block; RWE Dea is committed to drill at least two wells in addition to acquiring 3D seismic with minimum expenditures of $1 8.9MM in the first three years.