Egypt awards post-revolution exploration licences to oil giants

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A gas sweetening and dehydration unit in Saqqara, Egypt. Photo –

Egypt has granted its first post-revolution exploration licences to Royal Dutch Shell, RWE and TransGlobe Energy, a Reuters report said on Thursday. The country’s government is struggling to make payments to its foreign energy producers to which it owes at least $3 billion in September.

Canada’s TransGlobe emerged as the biggest winner with four concessions whereas Royal Dutch Shell won three concessions including one via an Egyptian joint venture, the report added.

“We are continuing to invest and Egypt is continuing to find ways to make payments to us,” Albert Gress, vice president of business development at TransGlobe Energy, said on the sidelines of the North Africa Oil and Gas Summit while adding that the company could start producing in the new blocks in 2014.

RWE and a joint venture between Dana Petroleum, Petroceltic International and Beach Petroleum were also awarded one licence each, the Reuters report said.

The new licences require a formal approval from the Egyptian government.

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