Egypt signs three oil, gas exploration deals with Shell, Apex for 16 new fields

Egypt has entered into three oil and gas exploration deals worth at least US$81.4 million with British–Dutch multinational oil and gas company Royal Dutch Shell plc and US-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company Apex International Energy for 16 new fields in the Western Desert.

The deals were signed by Egyptian Oil Minister Tarek El Molla.

The petroleum ministry said in a statement that the first deal would see a US$35.5 million investment from Shell, and the other two would see a combined $45.9 million investment for two projects from Apex, which is operating in Egypt for the first time.

Egypt, which used to be a net energy exporter, has become a net importer in recent years as consumption has increased while production has fallen.

The government has been on a drive to lure back foreign investors to its energy sector in an effort to address a squeeze on public finances.

In December, Egypt accepted six bids for oil and gas exploration worth up to US$200 million.

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